As Politico reports, several prominent Republicans are (finally) coming to the defense of the late Sen. John McCain after President Trump started attacking McCain’s legacy as part of his Sunday Tweetstorm:
Senate Republicans are stepping up their defense of John McCain. And Donald Trump is ignoring them entirely.
In just his latest bid to tarnish McCain’s legacy and reshape the GOP in his own image, the president offered a new set of attacks on the dead Arizona senator even after Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) blasted Trump for “deplorable“ behavior on Wednesday and other Republicans issued statements defending their former colleague.
But Trump made clear at an appearance in Lima, Ohio, that he’s simply not going to adjust his public views of McCain just because it makes his own party uncomfortable.
Trump said on Wednesday of McCain that he “never liked him much … probably never will” and dinged him again for passing the Steele dossier, a mostly unverified report focusing on the president’s alleged ties to Russia, to the FBI. Trump said McCain’s vote against Obamacare repeal ended up “badly hurting our nation.” He also said McCain, who worked on expanding veterans’ health options with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), “didn’t get the job done for our great vets in the V.A., and they knew it.”
Isakson, the Georgia Republican who chairs the Senate Veteran Affairs Committee, went off on Trump’s criticism of McCain in an interview with “The Bulwark” and called on fellow Republicans to follow suit. As Politico notes, South Carolina Sen. Lindsay Graham has spoken out meekly about Trump’s comments; mostly, Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have praised McCain but generally avoided talking about Trump:
Today and every day I miss my good friend John McCain. It was a blessing to serve alongside a rare patriot and genuine American hero in the Senate. His memory continues to remind me every day that our nation is sustained by the sacrifices of heroes.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) March 20, 2019
Such a brave statement. 🙄
If Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Yuma) says anything about Trump’s repeated attacks on McCain, we’ll be sure to update this page. Maybe he’ll feel more like talking after seeing this ridiculousness from Trump today. The explanation in the Tweet below is only a slight exaggeration, as you’ll see from watching the video:
Trump complains that John McCain did not come back from the dead to thank him for the nice funeral he held for him pic.twitter.com/6ejtB96axp
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 20, 2019