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Blumenthal Repeatedly Says ‘It’s Not About Me’ When Asked to Respond to Trump’s Vietnam Attack

• August 7, 2017 6:46 pm

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Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.) said Monday on CNN that he would not let President Donald Trump's "bullying" distract him from stopping Trump from firing special counsel Robert Mueller.

Host Wolf Blitzer opened the segment by reading off multiple tweets that Trump posted earlier in the day attacking Blumenthal for lying about his service record in Vietnam.

Blitzer gave Blumenthal an opportunity to respond to Trump's criticism, prompting Blumenthal to deflect the question to talk about the investigation into Mueller and highlight the importance of focusing on national security.

"It is not about me," Blumenthal said.

Blitzer referenced multiple tweets that Trump posted back in February hitting Blumenthal on military service. Blitzer asked Blumenthal whether there was something personal between Trump and him that was driving the attacks.

"I have no idea about what is in his mind," Blumenthal said. "What I do know is I will not be distracted by his bullying, and these bullying tweets reinforce for me the need for a piece of legislation that I am helping to lead … a bipartisan coalition to prevent firing of the special counsel Robert Mueller, who he has also sough to intimidate."

Blitzer also asked about Blumenthal's father-in-law, Peter Malkin, and his relationship with Trump's real estate company. The two have competed in various real estate deals, including relating to the Empire State Building.

"It is not about me. It is about upholding the rule of law and protecting our national security and making sure the special counsel investigation is protected against political interference," Blumenthal said.

"I don't know if the president is watching or not watching right now, but do you want to respond? Do you want to say anything directly to the president about the series of attacks he's now leveling against you?" Blitzer asked.

Blumenthal said it is important that the independence and integrity of the special counsel is protected.

"It really is not about me,"  he said.