Donald Trump and Senator John McCain at the White House, June 27, 2017 (Susan Walsh/AP)
Senator John McCain died in August 2018, but Donald Trump is still insulting him.
Trump, agitated over the Trump-Russia investigation, lashed out on Twitter amid discussion of a 2016 intelligence dossier setting out links between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 16, 2019
McCain, the Republican nominee for President in 2008, was shown the dossier by former UK intelligence officer Christopher Steele. Concerned by the extent of the claimed links, the Senator and a former State Department official disseminated the 17 memoranda to a reporter at BuzzFeed.
Steele compiled the information for the private firm Fusion GPS, commissioned first by Republican opponents of Trump and then by the Democratic National Committee. Buzzfeed published the memoranda, with some redactions, in January 2017.
Some of the information, including from high-level Russian sources, is still unverified; however, much has been corroborated in the following two years.
The dossier returned to the news last week because of the release of an extract from in a deposition by Steele, in a lawsuit by Russian website entrepreneur Aleksej Gubarev, named in the dossier. A federal judge ultimately dismissed the claim of defamation.
Trump’s anger at McCain over “repeal and replace” refers to the Senator’s decisive role in preventing the Trump Administration from fully dismantling ObamaCare in 2017.
“No One Will Ever Love You”
Meghan McCain responded to Trump’s tweet:
No one will ever love you the way they loved my father…. I wish I had been given more Saturday’s with him. Maybe spend yours with your family instead of on twitter obsessing over mine? https://t.co/q7ezwmHiQ4
— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) March 16, 2019
She later circulated an activist’s message of support, “Your Father had more Decency in his Pinky than Trump has in his entire being!”
As early as 1999, Trump assailed McCain, mocking the Navy aviator’s 5 1/2 years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam: “Does being captured make you a hero?”
Just after announcing his candidacy in 2015, Trump — who claimed bone spurs in his feet to avoid military service in Vietnam — said, “I like people who weren’t captured.”
The animosity continued to the end of McCain’s battle against cancer. When the Senator passed away, Trump refused to name him in a message of condolence, and tried to prevent flags on US Government buildings from being flown at half-mast.
At her father’s funeral, Meghan McCain noted “cheap rhetoric from men who will never come near the sacrifice he gave so willingly” and “the opportunistic appropriation of those who live lives of comfort and privilege while he suffered and served”.