Donald Trump mocked John McCain's book saying it "bombed" during a private lunch ahead of his State of the Union address
On Tuesday, Trump, 71, sat down for a private lunch with broadcast news anchors ahead of his State of the Union address and unleashed a plethora of jabs at fellow political leaders, The New York Times reported.
“He wrote a book and the book bombed,” Trump said of Sen. McCain, who died in August of stage-four brain cancer. He was 81.
McCain’s latest and final book The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights and Other Appreciations was published in April 2018.
Trump’s verbal attack came after he recounted the story in which McCain voted against an Obamacare repeal — which he considered the ultimate betrayal.
“The president’s obsession with my father 6 months after his death is pathetic and telling — even at a time when he should be focusing on his message to the American public and the state of our union — the greatness of my father’s life and legacy haunts you,” Meghan wrote.
Trump’s bad blood with McCain started as early as 1999 when Trump questioned whether or not McCain was a war hero during a 60 Minutes interview.
McCain was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for more than five years. The former Navy pilot previously told PEOPLE that he survived thanks to his “faith in God, faith in my fellow prisoners and faith in my country.”
“He was captured… Does being captured make you a hero? I don’t know. I’m not sure,” Trump said at the time.
Trump’s comment resurfaced during the 2016 Republican presidential primary when Trump blatantly said McCain was not a war hero.
“He’s not a war hero,” Trump said at the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa in July 2015. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
Trump and McCain would continue to go head-to-head up until the senator’s death.
In his final letter, shared after he lost his battle to cancer, McCain expressed his gratitude for his accomplished life and the importance of sticking to American ideals despite “present difficulties.”
According to some observers, it also took subtle shots at Trump through mentions of “tribal rivalries” and “[hiding] behind walls rather than [tearing] them down.”
Nonetheless, Sen. McCain wasn’t the only topic at Trump’s private lunch with reporters.
The president also slammed former Vice President Joe Biden as “dumb,” The New York Times reported.
“I hope it’s Biden,” Trump said after explaining that he hopes to run against Biden for president.
“Biden was never very smart. He was a terrible student. His gaffes are unbelievable. When I say something that you might think is a gaffe, it’s on purpose; it’s not a gaffe. When Biden says something dumb, it’s because he’s dumb,” Trump said.
He also made fun of Gov. Ralph Northam for “choking like a dog” when trying to explain a racist yearbook photo during a recent news conference, according to The Times.
Trump then took aim at Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who has been open about her Native American heritage, saying, “I hope I haven’t wounded Pocahontas too badly,” The New York Times reported.
“I’d like to run against her.”