Donald Trump Claims He 'Didn't Get a Thank You' for 'Approving' John McCain's Funeral Amid Attacks
Over the past week, Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked John McCain, who died in August 2018 following his stage 4 brain cancer diagnosis
One day after telling reporters “I was never a fan of John McCain and I never will be,” Trump, 72, continued his bashing the late senator, who died in August at 81 from stage 4 brain cancer.
Speaking at a White House event at an Ohio tank manufacturing facility on Wednesday, Trump claimed he did not receive proper gratitude on behalf of McCain’s loved ones after “approving” his funeral service — which he did not attend — on Sept. 1.
“I endorsed him at his request and I gave him the kind of funeral he wanted, which as president I had to approve,” Trump said at the event, according to The Washington Post.
He then reiterated his comments from a day earlier, telling the crowd, “I don’t care about this… I didn’t get a thank you. That’s okay. We sent him on the way. But I wasn’t a fan of John McCain.”
It is currently unclear what Trump meant by “approving” McCain’s funeral, as that is not a responsibility of the president.
In order to lie in state at the Capitol — which McCain did, becoming the 31st person and 13th senator ever to do so, The New York Times reported — congressional approval is required.
“These occasions are either authorized by a congressional resolution or approved by the congressional leadership, when permission is granted by survivors,” the Architect of the Capitol‘s website reads.
Trump did, however, give the approval to use a military jet to fly McCain’s body from Arizona to Washington D.C.
Trump and McCain made no secret of their political disagreements before McCain’s death last year. But the president took it further recently, including disparaging McCain’s military service (joking about him being captured during the Vietnam War).
In the most recent round of attacks, he has fixated on what he believes was McCain’s role in the ongoing Russia investigation.
Over the weekend, Trump accused the late politician of leaking a dossier about his connection with the Russian government in an effort to hurt him ahead of the 2016 election. He also falsely claimed in his tweets that McCain graduated last in his class at the United States Naval Academy.
“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!” Trump wrote on Saturday.
A day later, he added in a separate tweet: “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!”
During his Twitter weekend spree — while some of his family avoided the spotlight in Florida — the president also retweeted another user who wrote, “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.”
Speaking with reporters on Tuesday, according to NBC News, Trump said: “I was never a fan of John McCain and I never will be.”
On Tuesday, Georgia Sen. Johnny Isakson said he plans to rebuke Trump’s attacks on his former colleague, who was a former Navy pilot and prisoner of war in Vietnam.
“I just want to lay it on the line, that the country deserves better, the McCain family deserves better,” Isakson told The Bulwark, a conservative website. “I don’t care if he’s president of United States, owns all the real estate in New York, or is building the greatest immigration system in the world. Nothing is more important than the integrity of the country and those who fought and risked their lives for all of us.”
Isakson echoed those comments again on Wednesday to Georgia Public Broadcasting, claiming that Trump’s remarks were “deplorable” and that he intended on “standing up for veterans” who were “fighting for everything we believe in and everything we love in this country.”
McCain’s family, including his daughter Meghan, have also hit back at Trump’s comments.
“[Trump] spends his weekend obsessing over great men because — he knows it and I know it and all of you know it — he will never be a great man,” she said on The View Monday. “My father was his kryptonite in life, he’s his kryptonite in death.”