Union Leader Receives Threats After Donald Trump Attacks Him on Twitter

A union boss in Indianapolis who fact-checked Trump is now getting threats after the president-elect attacked him on Twitter.

Donald Trump seems to love watching television—even though he hates what he watches—and, of course, he loves getting upset on Twitter about what he watches. So maybe it shouldn't be surprising that he tweeted insults about a local union boss in Indianapolis, Indiana only 20 minutes after the man called out the president-elect on CNN for lying. Half an hour later, the man started getting threatening phone calls.

According to NBC News, Chuck Jones is the president of United Steelworkers Local 1999, which represents workers from Carrier Corp. and Rexnord Corp., two companies with plans to close plants in Indianapolis and move those jobs to Mexico. Trump has previously tweeted about Carrier and Rexnord and promised a "Great deal for workers!" saying he will "keep our companies and jobs in the U.S."

Big day on Thursday for Indiana and the great workers of that wonderful state.We will keep our companies and jobs in the U.S. Thanks Carrier

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2016

Rexnord of Indiana is moving to Mexico and rather viciously firing all of its 300 workers. This is happening all over our country. No more!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 3, 2016

I will be going to Indiana on Thursday to make a major announcement concerning Carrier A.C. staying in Indianapolis. Great deal for workers!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 30, 2016

After meeting with Carrier in Indianapolis, Trump claimed he helped save 1,100 jobs that would have otherwise gone to Mexico. That is not true. The deal, which hooks Carrier up with $7 million in tax cuts and incentives over a decade, will actually only keep about 800 jobs in America. According to CNN, Trump counted an additional 300 jobs at a different facility in Indianapolis—jobs which they never planned on moving, as Carrier has admitted.

Pres. of United Steelworkers Union on @Carrier deal: "What nobody's mentioning is 550 people are losing their jobs" https://t.co/SxPg1jZHk9

— OutFrontCNN (@OutFrontCNN) December 8, 2016

On top of that, Carrier is still moving about 550 jobs to Mexico sometime in 2017, and the Indianapolis plant owned by Rexnord, which has about 350 workers, is also scheduled to move to Mexico. 

So considering it's Jones' job to represent those workers, he called Trump out. "Trump said no companies would be allowed to go to Mexico," Jones told CNN. "There are more than 300 people over there at Rexnord. He needs to deliver for them as well."

Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 8, 2016

"He's lying his ass off," Jones said regarding Trump's boasts about saving 1,100 jobs. "The numbers prove he's lying his ass off. It's a damn shame when you come in and make a false statements like that."

Trump did not take the criticism well. The president-elect called out the union boss by name on Twitter and blamed him as the reason "companies flee [the] country!"

If United Steelworkers 1999 was any good, they would have kept those jobs in Indiana. Spend more time working-less time talking. Reduce dues

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 8, 2016

Appreciate the chance to meet w/ Chuck Jones & hardworking men of Local 1999 about our efforts to save Carrier jobs pic.twitter.com/jAzV4DO4PY

— Governor Mike Pence (@GovPenceIN) March 2, 2016

Surprisingly, just months ago, Trump's Vice President Mike Pence praised Jones as "hardworking" in his "efforts to save Carrier jobs."

Chuck is a hero not a scapegoat: you, others know about Carrier because of his, members' tireless work since day 1 to save ALL jobs there. https://t.co/C9fvwajHY7

— United Steelworkers #EverybodysUnion (@steelworkers) December 8, 2016

United Steelworkers fired back that Jones is "a hero not a scapegoat," and also defended their dues.

Dues have helped us file 45+ cases against bad trade; saving jobs in tire, paper, steel, etc. We walk the walk. #imwithchuck #wearewithchuck https://t.co/PlGznkwrTS

— United Steelworkers #EverybodysUnion (@steelworkers) December 8, 2016

Chuck Jones @OutFrontCNN before Trump called him "terrible" - https://t.co/B0xZrHLcqf -- and afterhttps://t.co/yh8HWsk4AT

— Erin Burnett (@ErinBurnett) December 8, 2016

After Trump's tweet, Jones went back on CNN to discuss it, which he described as "pretty low down" and not "very damn nice." Nonetheless, Jones believes Trump's tweet "must mean I'm doing a good job."

chuck jones tells me this "isn't very damn nice" and it "must mean I'm doing a good job", trump "doesn't like to be challenged" https://t.co/iIRZsV0p1I

— Erin Burnett (@ErinBurnett) December 8, 2016

Leader of country going after individual, local-level labor leaders. I think we've seen this show before. Just not in this country. https://t.co/CJm2ysPxR4

— Alec MacGillis (@AlecMacGillis) December 8, 2016

Since the tweet, "I'm getting threats and everything else from some of his supporters," Jones told NBC News. "I'm getting them all day long—now they're kicked up a notch." People are "calling me names, wanting to know if I have children," Jones told the Indianapolis Star. Self-identified Trump supporters told him, "I better watch out for myself, and they know what kind of car I drive, that I better watch out for my kids."

Twitter pointed out how troubling Trump's tweets are:

Trump claims to love American workers, but then turns around and calls an American worker terrible. Which side are you on @realDonaldTrump? https://t.co/0smxLnV1dD

— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) December 8, 2016

#Trump tweets following @ErinBurnett's interview w/ @Carrier union boss; @richardquest: "We shouldn't be surprised!" https://t.co/gDnTkRrSIF

— OutFrontCNN (@OutFrontCNN) December 8, 2016

It's difficult to prove that Trump's tweets were a direct response to the CNN interview—Jones has been calling out Trump for days now—but there does seem to be some evidence. Trump, who has a long history of watching and commenting on CNN, posted the insults only about 20 minutes after the interview, as Erin Burnett herself noted.

It's pretty scary that our president-elect is individually calling out his critics, leading to threats being made against them.

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