During an impromptu press conference in the White House Monday, President Donald Trump deployed a brutal new nickname for Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), mocking his past lies about serving in the Vietnam War.
“Look at some of these people asking the questions, okay?” Trump began. “Look at Blumenthal. He lied about Vietnam … for 15 years he said he was a war hero!” the president exclaimed. “We call him Da Nang Richard. That’s his nickname — Da Nang. He never went to Vietnam!”
Trump continued, “He’s up there saying, ‘we need honesty and we need integrity.’ This guy lied. When he was the attorney general of Connecticut, he lied! I don’t mean a little bit.”
“Here’s a guy [who] lied and now he’s up there talking like he’s holier than thou!” the president added incredulously.
Democrats appealing to Snopes for a counter-argument in the senator’s favor will be sorely disappointed. The liberal fact-checker rates the claim that Blumenthal misrepresented his Vietnam record “Mostly True,” even though it is, of course, 100% true:
Blumenthal made a handful of false and misleading statements about having served in Vietnam during the period of American involvement in the war there.
Snopes takes Blumenthal at his word that those misrepresentations were “totally unintentional,” because he had also spoken more honestly about his military service at other times. That’s why they rate the claim only “mostly” true.
But for years at various venues, the senator had referred to his service in Vietnam and what it was like returning from Vietnam.
The New York Times, to its credit, blew the whistle on Blumenthal:
Mr. Blumenthal, a Democrat now running for the United States Senate, never served in Vietnam. He obtained at least five military deferments from 1965 to 1970 and took repeated steps that enabled him to avoid going to war, according to records.
The deferments allowed Mr. Blumenthal to complete his studies at Harvard; pursue a graduate fellowship in England; serve as a special assistant to The Washington Post’s publisher, Katharine Graham; and ultimately take a job in the Nixon White House. In 1970, with his last deferment in jeopardy, he landed a coveted spot in the Marine Reserve, which virtually guaranteed that he would not be sent to Vietnam. He joined a unit in Washington that conducted drills and other exercises and focused on local projects, like fixing a campground and organizing a Toys for Tots drive.
After that story came out, some took to calling him Captain Toys for Tots, but President Trump’s Da Nang Richard is pretty good, too.
During his opening statement at the Senate Judiciary hearing on the decades-old sexual assault allegations against Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Blumenthal said: “The core of why we are here today really is credibility.”
President Trump just blew whatever was left of Blumenthal’s credibility to smithereens.