WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump defended his latest attacks on John McCain, telling reporters Tuesday that he has never been fond of the deceased senator.
“I was never a fan of John McCain and I never will be,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office while meeting with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
Over the weekend, Trump took multiple shots at McCain, whose death from brain cancer at 81 last August triggered nationwide mourning.
Spreading the fake and totally discredited Dossier “is unfortunately a very dark stain against John McCain.” Ken Starr, Former Independent Counsel. He had far worse “stains” than this, including thumbs down on repeal and replace after years of campaigning to repeal and replace!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 16, 2019
So it was indeed (just proven in court papers) “last in his class” (Annapolis) John McCain that sent the Fake Dossier to the FBI and Media hoping to have it printed BEFORE the Election. He & the Dems, working together, failed (as usual). Even the Fake News refused this garbage!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2019
Conservative radio host Lori Hendry tweeted her support for Trump and disdain for McCain, noting that talk show host Meghan McCain, the senator’s daughter, defended her late father.
Meghan MCCain took a swipe at Trump suggesting “no one will ever love you like they loved my father” WRONG Meghan!
Millions of Americans truly LOVE President Trump, not McCain. I’m one!
We hated McCain for his ties to the Russian dossier & his vote against repealing Obamacare
— Lori Hendry (@Lrihendry) March 17, 2019
When pressed Tuesday why he was going after the senator, Trump pointed to McCain’s 2017 vote to oppose the Affordable Care Act’s repeal.
“I think that’s disgraceful,” Trump said, claiming that the White House would have been able to rally sufficient support had they known how McCain planned to vote.
Trump and McCain’s public feud began in 2015 after Trump suggested that McCain, a Vietnam-era prisoner-of-war, was not a war hero because he was captured.
McCain had been one of the Republican party’s most vocal critics against Trump, eventually choosing to exclude the sitting president from his eventual funeral.
After McCain’s death, Trump faced criticism for not releasing a formal White House statement and declining an order to lower U.S. flags on public property until days after the senator’s passing.
Trump initially relented.
“Despite our differences on policy and politics, I respect Senator John McCain’s service to our country and, in his honor, have signed a proclamation to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff until the day of his interment,” Trump said in a statement.