Trump: ’I was never a fan of John McCain and I never...

Trump: ’I was never a fan of John McCain and I never will be’

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and President Donald Trump exchanged personalized soccer jerseys Tuesday during Bolsonaro's first visit to the White House. (Pool photo/AP Radio)

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.

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.

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.

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