President Trump said recently — for what must be the millionth time — that, because they write unflattering stories about him, various media outlets must be colluding and working against him. What he doesn’t seem to realize, though, is that his behavior, on and off camera, directly contributes to people’s negative opinions of him.
For example, on Wednesday morning, a story broke about Trump reportedly wandering around the White House “physically mocking” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator John McCain. Trump mocked McConnell by imitating his “slumped shoulders [and] lethargic body language” and pantomimed “the thumbs-down of [McCain’s] historic health-care vote.”
As CNN’s Jake Tapper has pointed out, McCain has suffered from limited mobility in his arms as a result of the way he was treated as a prisoner of war in Vietnam; by imitating McCain, Trump was, once again, mocking someone with a disability.
Trump has, not surprisingly, been heavily criticized for his alleged behavior. Even Senator McCain’s daughter, Meghan, has spoken out against the president. She retweeted Tapper’s post about the story on Wednesday morning and called Trump’s behavior “abhorrent.”
‘What more must my family be put through right now? This is abhorrent.’
Some people responded to McCain’s post by encouraging her not to believe the story, but the majority agreed with her sentiments and pointed out the fact that Trump has a history of mocking people with disabilities.
Trump also has a history of attacking McCain specifically. Even before he was elected and McCain started breaking with Trump on a number of legislative issues — including health care and tax reform — Trump lashed out at the senator during a campaign rally and mocked him for having been imprisoned in Vietnam.
‘He’s not a war hero. I like people that weren’t captured.’
McCain said during a recent interview with 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl that Trump has never apologized to him for that comment. McCain also said that, while he’d still be happy to talk with Trump in spite of his refusal to apologize, they have “different life experiences.”
‘He is in the business of making money and he has been successful both in television as well as Miss America and others. I was raised in the concept and belief that duty, honor, country is the lodestar for behavior that we have to exhibit every single day.’
McCain also noted that his decision vote break with Trump on certain issues is not about him trying to get revenge for the president’s past attacks.
‘If I took offense at everybody who has said something about me, or disparaged me or something like that — life is too short. You’ve got to move on. And on an issue of this importance to the nation, for me to worry about a personal relationship, then I’m not doing my job.’
Clearly, McCain has a very different philosophy — and a much thicker skin — than the president.
Featured image via Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic.