The hashtag #ImWithChuck began trending on Twitter after Trump tweeted insults about Jones on Wednesday.
Last week, Trump announced a deal with Indiana-based air conditioning company Carrier Corporation that he said would keep over 1,100 jobs from going to Mexico. But Jones, whose union represents Carrier workers, spoke out against the claim on CNN Wednesday and in a recent Washington Post article.
Trump “lied his ass off” about the number of jobs it would save, he said.
Naturally, a Trump Twitter tantrum erupted soon after Jones’ CNN appearance:
“I stand behind what I said in this situation,” Jones told The Huffington Post on Thursday. “Instead of addressing [my criticism], the president-elect decided to attack.”
Trump’s petty reaction spurred a flurry of tweets supporting Jones:
Though Jones was already receiving threats from Trump supporters, he said the harassment had been “kicked up to some degree” after Trump started targeting him on Twitter.
He said he checked his voicemail Thursday morning to find five “real, real, real hateful” messages from an irate Trump supporter launching a string of profanities at Jones.
Jones said he ignores most threatening messages like this, but decided the angry caller was someone he should attempt to have a conversation with. When he called him back, Jones claims the person hung up on him.
“I don’t know if he indulged in liquid courage last night or what,” Jones told HuffPost. “I gave this man the opportunity to talk to me this morning. He elected not to.”
In his roughly 30 years as a union worker, Jones said he’s received a range of violent threats, including warnings that he’ll be shot or that his home will be burned down. He’s not worried, though, and has no plans of staying quiet ― even as the threats continue to roll in. He wants other union leaders to continue to speak out, too.
“If I had to do it all over again, maybe I would use little better choice of words ― but probably not,” Jones said.