Twitter has furiously slammed US President Donald Trump over his latest social media tirade targeting "phony" Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and the "failing" New York Times. In a series of tweets on Monday (7 August), Trump attacked Blumenthal over his military service and called him a "phony Vietnam con artist."
"Interesting to watch Senator Richard Blumenthal talking about hoax Russian collusion when he was a phony Vietnam con artist!" Trump tweeted.
Earlier, the president wrote: "Never in US history has anyone lied or defrauded voters like Senator Richard Blumenthal. 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's criticism referenced an earlier controversy in 2010 when the Connecticut senator came under fire for saying he had "served" in Vietnam.
Between 1965 and 1970, Blumenthal was granted several deferments and had joined the Marine Reserve. However, he did not serve in Vietnam. Blumenthal later said he regretted his comments and clarified that he had served in the Marine Reserve in Washington during the Vietnam conflict.
Trump's tweets came after Blumenthal appeared on CNN's "New Day" earlier on Monday during which he discussed the Trump administration's crackdown on leaks and the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and potential collusion by Trump's campaign.
"Empanelling the grand jury shows that Bob Mueller is pursuing this potential wrongdoing by the Russians, the attack on our democracy, seriously and diligently - and there is no minimising or underestimating that attack by the Russians," Blumenthal said. He also voiced concerns that the Department of Justice was "weaponising" laws in its pursuit of leaks.
He praised the "free press" saying "when the the history of this era is written the heroes will be the free press and the independent judiciary who have upheld the rule of law against threats by the Trump administration".
In response to Trump's attacks, Blumenthal tweeted: "Mr President: Your bullying hasn't worked before and it won't work now. No one is above the law."
Twitter users immediately slammed the president over his latest "bullying" attacks saying "you sure seem to have a lot of free time on your hands for a man who 'isn't on vacation'".
Many also called Trump a "hypocrite", pointing out that Blumenthal had enlisted in the Marine Reserve while Trump never served, despite being eligible during the Vietnam War. Trump had obtained multiple deferments - four due to educational purposes and one for alleged bone spurs in his feet.
Radio host David Pakman tweeted: "Didn't you get multiple deferments from serving in Vietnam because your feet hurt?"
One person simply tweeted: "Bro just stop."