Trump, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen tangle on Twitter over criminal justice reform

By Brian Dakss

/ CBS News

President Trump got into a war of words on Twitter late Sunday night and early Monday with singer-songwriter John Legend and his wife, model Chrissy Teigen, after an MSNBC special on criminal justice reform. The Grammy- and Oscar-winning Legend took part in the town hall filmed inside New York's Sing Sing prison and hosted by "NBC Nightly News" anchor Lester Holt.

The special didn't mention the sweeping First Step Act the president signed into law in late December. Among other things, it gives nonviolent inmates a chance to shorten their sentences.

Mr. Trump clearly felt dissed. In four tweets, he said, "When all of the people pushing so hard for Criminal Justice Reform were unable to come even close to getting it done, they came to me as a group and asked for my help. I got it done with a group of Senators & others who would never have gone for it. Obama couldn't come close….

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"….A man named @VanJones68, and many others, were profusely grateful (at that time!). I SIGNED IT INTO LAW, no one else did, & Republicans deserve much credit. But now that it is passed, people that had virtually nothing to do with it are taking the praise. Guys like boring…..

"….musician @johnlegend, and his filthy mouthed wife, are talking now about how great it is – but I didn't see them around when we needed help getting it passed. "Anchor"@LesterHoltNBC doesn't even bring up the subject of President Trump or the Republicans when talking about….

"….the importance or passage of Criminal Justice Reform. They only talk about the minor players, or people that had nothing to do with it…And the people that so desperately sought my help when everyone else had failed, all they talk about now is Impeaching President Trump!"

Legend was quick to fire back, opining, "Imagine being president of a whole country and spending your Sunday night hate-watching MSNBC hoping somebody–ANYBODY–will praise you. Melania, please praise this man. He needs you."

Then, another Legend tweet, for emphasis: "Your country needs you, Melania."

Teigen chimed in on her Twitter account, noting, "The absolute best part of his tweet is I literally didn't speak in the special, nor was I mentioned. I'm cackling at the pointless addition of me."

But she also referred to Mr. Trump with crude language, then asked Twitter users not to make it a trending term. Legend asked the same.

The Washington Post notes that a Holt special that re-aired just before the town hall on MSNBC showed Mr. Trump signing the First Step Act.

First published on September 9, 2019 / 7:04 AM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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