(JTA) — President Donald Trump interrupted his working vacation in New Jersey to renew his attacks on Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., calling him “a phony Vietnam con artist” on Twitter.
Trump wrote a series of tweets Monday, apparently responding to Blumenthal’s appearance on CNN that morning in which the Jewish senator voiced support for the investigation into alleged Russian election meddling and asserted the possibility of “collusion by the Trump campaign and then obstruction of justice.”
“Never in U.S.history [sic] has anyone lied or defrauded voters like Senator Richard Blumenthal,” Trump wrote on Twitter shortly afterward. “He told stories about his Vietnam battles and … conquests, how brave he was, and it was all a lie. He cried like a baby and begged for forgiveness like a child. Now he judges collusion?”
Trump also wrote: “Interesting to watch Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut talking about hoax Russian collusion when he was a phony Vietnam con artist!”
The president was referring to Blumenthal’s run for senator in 2010, when the former state attorney general gave an apology for appearing to characterize his service in the Marine Corps Reserves as taking place in Vietnam, where had never served.
Trump received five draft deferments in avoiding service during the Vietnam era; he has said bone spurs in his feet made him ineligible.
Trump has attacked Blumenthal on the same issue in the past.
In February, he assailed Blumenthal’s credibility based on his Vietnam statements after the Democrat reported that then-Supreme Court justice nominee Neil Gorsuch was disheartened by the president’s attacks on a judge. Gorsuch later confirmed the Blumenthal account.
Blumenthal responded to Trump’s latest Twitter volley on Monday, referring to the ongoing investigation into Russian voter meddling by special counsel Robert Mueller.
“Mr. President: Your bullying hasn’t worked before and it won’t work now. No one is above the law,” Blumenthal tweeted. “This issue isn’t about me — it’s about the Special Counsel’s independence and integrity.”