In his speech Friday morning at the Conservative Political Action Conference, President Donald Trump took aim Sen. John McCain, knocking the Arizona Republican for voting against his party's bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act

By Tierney McAfee
February 23, 2018 12:22 PM
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In his speech Friday morning at the Conservative Political Action Conference, President Donald Trump took aim Sen. John McCain, knocking the Arizona Republican for voting against his party’s bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Though Trump didn’t mention McCain — who is battling brain cancer — by name, the reference was clear to the crowd, which responded by erupting into boos directed at the senator.

“Remember, one person walked into a room, when he was supposed to go this way, and he said he was going this way, and he walked in ,and he went this way and everyone said, ‘What happened? What was that all about?’ Boy, oh, boy,” Trump said, referring to the dramatic moment McCain gave a thumbs-down on the Senate floor and voted against the GOP’s health care plan in July.

“Who was that? I don’t know. I don’t want to be controversial, so I won’t use his name,” Trump continued. “What a mess. But, it is all happening anyway. It is all happening anyway.”

The moment added fuel to an already contentious relationship between McCain and Trump, who came under fire in July 2015 for saying the former Vietnam prisoner of war was not a “hero” because he got captured.

Axios also reported in September that Trump physically mocked McCain‘s war injuries while imitating his famous thumbs-up moment.

JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

But after McCain went public with his brain cancer diagnosis in July, the president called the senator’s daughter Meghan in the fall and promised to back off.

“I don’t believe [Trump] would go there again,” Meghan told POLITICO’S Women Rule podcast at the time. “I don’t think at this point in his administration it would be beneficial to him in any way.”

On Friday, the younger McCain, a co-host on The View, expressed disapproval over the president’s CPAC “potshots,” saying she and her mother, Cindy, would address the incident on the show next Wednesday.

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“President Trump took some potshots at my father and got the crowd at CPAC to boo him,” McCain said on The View. “My mother is coming on on Wednesday, both of us will be addressing this together. We’re going to talk about what it’s like to have this continue to happen as a family while my father battles brain cancer. I will be addressing it, I’m going to wait to do it with my mom.”