Donald Trump Rejected White House Plan To Release Statement Praising John McCain, Chose To Tweet Instead
McCain died Saturday afternoon at age 81 after a battle with brain cancer, surrounded by friends and family. The White House’s planned statement reportedly would have referred to the Arizona Republican as a “hero” and would have praised him for his more than 30-year tenure in the Senate and for his military service.
However, Trump ultimately decided to only write the following on Twitter: “My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!”
My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 26, 2018
Trump and McCain were known for being vocal critics of each other ever since the senator ran for president in 2015. Just days into his campaign, Trump slammed the former Vietnam prisoner of war by saying McCain “is not a war hero.”
“He is only a war hero because he was captured,” said the former Apprentice host, who drew severe backlash for his comments.
McCain also laid into Trump on multiple occasions, especially with regards to foreign policy issues like intervention in Syria and his relationship with Russia and Vladimir Putin. In McCain’s book The Restless Wave — which was released in May — the late senator said he didn’t want the president to attend his funeral.