John McCain Hits Trump From The Grave With Pre-Election Surprise

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Mark Salter, who was a longtime aide to the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), is releasing a new memoir this week chronicling much of his time working with the prominent public figure. Among the details that Salter walks through in the book is McCain’s private response to then-presidential candidate Donald Trump’s infamous disparagement of the Senator on the campaign trail in 2015. At the time, Trump derided the idea that McCain was a war hero, mockingly insisting that he likes “people who weren’t captured.” The then-Senator pointedly observed to Salter that “all [Trump] did was get people to talk about what a hero I am all weekend,” and that’s “not my problem, it’s his,” McCain added.

Trump has continued his antagonism towards McCain even after the late Senator’s death. He has, for instance, derided McCain for supposedly failing to act to appropriately safeguard the VA health system — but it’s John McCain himself who co-sponsored the Veterans’ Choice legislation that then-President Barack Obama signed into law, opening up opportunities for veterans to freely seek healthcare opportunities outside of the VA system. Trump has taken credit for the premise of the Veterans’ Choice program, but again — it’s Obama who originally signed it into law. Trump signed an expansion of the program into law.

Meanwhile, Salter’s new book actually reveals another seemingly previously unknown anecdote from McCain’s relationship with the eventual president. According to Salter, on one occasion in 1993, Donald Trump himself waited outside the Senate to try and meet up with McCain and lobby him to support the then-casino owner’s perspective on something. McCain wasn’t interested — after the Senator walked by, “pretending not to notice as Trump tried to get his attention,” Salter says that Trump called out, “I gave money to your campaign,” in a desperate bid to get McCain’s attention. McCain still wasn’t interested. He replied: “Oh yeah? See what that will get you.”

Cindy McCain — the late Senator’s widow — has endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden for president. Trump responded to the endorsement with a bullying Twitter post directed at the McCains. That’s just about all he’s got, it seems — bullying.