Donald Trump Signs Defense Bill Named For John McCain – But Doesn’t Acknowledge McCain
The John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 will boost military pay by 2.6% and add 35 M-1 tanks, 77 joint strike fighters and 13 combat ships at a cost of $716 billion. Service members will get their largest increase in nine years. The bill also authorizes billions of dollars for military construction, including for family housing.
“Hopefully, we’ll be so strong we’ll never have to use it. But if we ever did, nobody has a chance,” the president said.
Trump and McCain, who is battling brain cancer at home in Arizona, are engaged in a long-running feud that dates to Trump’s 2016 presidential run. During his election campaign, Trump declared that McCain, who was a prisoner of war for more than five years in Vietnam, was not a war hero, saying he liked “people that weren’t captured.” The president has publicly blamed McCain for defeating the Republican health care bill last year. Trump referred to that episode later Monday at a campaign event.
“For those asking did I expect Trump to be an asshole today,” former McCain speechwriter Mark Salter said on Twitter. “No more than I expected it to be Monday.”
For those asking did I expect Trump to be an asshole today. No more than I expected it to be Monday.
— Mark Salter (@MarkSalter55) 13. August 2018
On Monday, McCain expressed pride in the bill signing in a statement he issued afterward on Twitter. “I’m proud the NDAA is now law & humbled Congress chose to designate it in my name.”
I’m proud the NDAA is now law & humbled Congress chose to designate it in my name. As Chairman of the Armed Services Cmte, I’ve found high purpose in service of a cause greater than self—the cause of our troops who defend America & all that she stands for. https://t.co/Gco9E57HdC
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) August 13, 2018
His wife, Cindy McCain, meanwhile, retweeted a tweet from CBS News that noted Trump had neglected to mention McCain at the signing.
President Trump just signed a defense spending bill, named in honor of Sen. John McCain. In doing so, he neglected to mention McCain’s name even once in his speech. https://t.co/qKWR9Gpv7C pic.twitter.com/ML5Ir9AfCR
— CBS News (@CBSNews) 13. August 2018