First lady Melania Trump in a rare tweet responded to Stanford Law professor Pamela Karlan saying she “should be ashamed,” for invoking her son, Barron Trump as the butt of a joke during the House Judiciary impeachment hearings.
“A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics,” Melania tweeted. “Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it.”
A minor child deserves privacy and should be kept out of politics. Pamela Karlan, you should be ashamed of your very angry and obviously biased public pandering, and using a child to do it.— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) December 4, 2019
Karla’s joke of Barron came amid questions from Rep. Shelia Jackson Lee, D-Texas, to illustrate her point that President Trump can’t rule like a king.
“Kings could do no wrong because the king’s word was law, but contrary to what President Trump says, Article II does not give him the power to do anything he wants,” Karlan said, prompting chuckles across the room. “The Constitution says there can be no titles of nobility, so while the president can name his son Barron, he cannot make him a baron.”
Her remarks prompted a barrage of backlash from Republicans.
“Only in the minds of crazed liberals is it funny to drag a 13-year-old child into the impeachment nonsense,” Trump campaign national press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement. “Pamela Karlan thought she was being clever and going for laughs, but she instead reinforced for all Americans that Democrats have no boundaries when it comes to their hatred of everything related to President Trump.”
McEnamy added that Democrats should call out Karlan for her remarks and to personally apologize to the President and his family.
“Every Democrat in Congress should immediately repudiate Pamela Karlan and call on her to personally apologize to the president and the first lady for mocking their son on national TV,” McEnamy wrote.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham called the remark “classless.”
“Classless move by a Democratic ‘witness’. Prof Karlan uses a teenage boy who has nothing to do with this joke of a hearing (and deserves privacy) as a punchline,” Grisham tweeted. “And what’s worse, it’s met by laughter in the hearing room. What is being done to this country is no laughing matter.”
Classless move by a Democratic “witness”. Prof Karlan uses a teenage boy who has nothing to do with this joke of a hearing (and deserves privacy) as a punchline. And what’s worse, it’s met by laughter in the hearing room. What is being done to this country is no laughing matter.— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) December 4, 2019
The comment brought a rebuke from Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz during the hearing, who called the remark “mean.”
“When you invoke the president’s son’s name here, when you try to make a little joke out of referencing Barron Trump, that does not lend credibility to your argument. It makes you look mean,” Gaetz said.
Barron’s older brother, Donald Trump Jr., slammed Karlan on Twitter, saying her statement was “grotesque.”
“How vile of a person do you have to be to attack a 13 year old child on national TV for laughs? Apparently, vile enough to be the supposed star witness for Democrats,” Trump Jr. wrote on Twitter.
How vile of a person do you have to be to attack a 13 year old child on national TV for laughs?— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) December 4, 2019
Apparently, vile enough to be the supposed star witness for Democrats.
Vice President Mike Pence, during an appearance in Holland, Michigan, also slammed Karlan’s comment.
“The impeachment hearings today reached a new low,” Pence said. “I just heard at the hearing today, one of the Democrats’ witnesses actually used the President and first lady’s 13-year-old son to justify their partisan impeachment. Democrats should be ashamed. Enough is enough.”
Karlan later apologized for the remarks about Barron.
“It was wrong of me to do that,” she said, adding that she wished the president would apologize for “things that he’s done that’s wrong, but I do regret having said that.”
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