At a W.H. press conference, President Donald Trump decided that it was a great time to yet again complain about John McCain, who was serving as a Senator from Arizona at the time of his death after a long career in public service. A recent report in The Atlantic alleged that Trump had referred to American service members killed in action as “losers” and “suckers,” and reporter Jeff Mason asked Trump on Monday whether he understood how some people might have a hard time accepting his denials of those allegations in light of his previous public antagonism towards McCain. Trump responded by, in part, denigrating McCain again.
‘I’ve always been on the opposite side of John McCain. John McCain liked wars. I will be a better warrior than anybody, but when we fight a war we will win them and frankly I was never a fan of John McCain. You know that. It’s been very obvious. But I had to approve his entire funeral. I wanted him to get, he deserved a first class — you know it all was approved by me. We sent Air Force One to pick up the casket. A lot of things.’
Trump’s claim that he approved McCain’s “entire funeral” is a lie. Although presidential approval is required for a casket to lie in state, as McCain’s did, presidential approval is not required for things like a service at the National Cathedral in D.C., where a funeral service was held in McCain’s honor. The cathedral itself has confirmed this — last year, a spokesperson said that “No funeral at the Cathedral requires the approval of the president or any other government official.”
Still, Trump added:
‘I was not a fan of John McCain because he wanted the endless wars and I didn’t. I thought that the way that the vets were taken care of was not good, not appropriate. Of course, he took the fake dirty dossier and gave it to the FBI… Am I supposed to say, oh, what a wonderful guy? So, you know what, I lived with him, he lived with me… I respect people. I respect a lot of people. That doesn’t mean I necessarily have to agree with them.’
Watch his comments below:
Trump says he doesn't understand "at all" why people point to his John McCain insults to refute his denials that he disparaged U.S. military
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 7, 2020
It’s McCain himself — alongside Bernie Sanders! — who co-sponsored Veterans Choice legislation that allows vets to see providers outside of the VA system if they’re not getting anywhere with the system’s providers. Trump did eventually sign an extension of that program into law — and it was named after McCain! Trump has repeatedly taken credit for the entire program concept, but he is, however, flatly not responsible for it.