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Congresswoman Dingell featured in a Trump biography

Debbie Dingell
Peter Smith
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
Debbie Dingell

The story of a reputed prank call on local Congresswoman Debbie Dingell is the latest excerpt from a Donald Trump-focused book by political reporter Maggie Haberman.

In the book excerpt, Dingell talks about a 2019 Michigan rally in which then-president Donald Trump was referencing her late husband, Congressman John Dingell.

During the rally, Trump referenced Debbie Dingell’s remarks about how husband must be looking down, thrilled to see the flags at half-staff in his honor. The former president then told the crowd, “Maybe he was looking up. I don’t know.”

It was a day after those remarks, Debbie Dingell says. in the book, she received a call from someone purporting to be from the Washington Post asking if she was disturbed by the remarks. She relays in the story that the person on the phone sounded a great deal like Trump.

And when she followed up the next day with the Washington Post, they knew of no one by the name of the person who made the call.

Dingell tells WEMU she still believes the caller was Trump, because so many people wanted him to apologize. She shares the story to this day as a reminder that people must treat each other civilly.

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Cathy Shafran was WEMU's afternoon news anchor and local host during WEMU's broadcast of NPR's All Things Considered.
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