President Donald Trump hasn’t put aside his petty grievances even in the face of Sen. John McCain’s death.
The 81-year-old Arizona Republican lost his battle against an aggressive form of brain cancer on Aug 25, a year after he was diagnosed.
The White House aides had drafted a flattering statement for Trump on the death of the ex-POW, however, it was never sent out, a source told CNN.
Staff member believed the epitaph, which was finished several days before McCain’s demise and went through an internal approval process, would be released at the time of the Arizona Republican’s death. But despite advice to the contrary, the president refused to announce the official statement praising McCain for his decades of heroic military service. The White House also did not make plans for a televised statement on McCain’s death, which has been a routine in the past presidencies.
Instead, the president posted a brief tweet on Saturday that became lost among the plethora of much wordier messages on his Twitter feed.
My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 26, 2018
On his Instagram account, Trump posted the same words accompanied by a picture of himself, rather than McCain. These statements made no mention of the late senator’s military service nor praised him in any way and the Instagram post particularly looked more like an attempt to glorify Trump rather than any effort to remember the Arizona senator.
Trump later went to play golf at his resort.
The president’s indifferent posts were a stark contrast from the admiring statements released by former presidents and government officials, from both the sides.
Our statement on the passing of Senator John McCain: pic.twitter.com/3GBjNYxoj5— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 26, 2018
.@SenJohnMcCain was a leader & public servant of deep patriotism, outstanding bravery & undaunted spirit. Throughout his career, we all saw his integrity, humility, courage & grace. May it be a comfort to his family to know that so many around the world mourn with them.— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) August 26, 2018
America hast just lost a hero, @SenJohnMcCain As my Mother waited on news of her MIA husband, she was sustained by the heroism of John McCain. If he could survive his ordeal perhaps Norman Eaton might. Farewell Noble Warrior. You will be always remembered. #mccainlegacy— Major General (ret) Paul Eaton (@PaulDEaton52) August 26, 2018
A giant. An icon. An American hero. God bless @SenJohnMcCain. He will never be forgotten.— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) August 26, 2018
My full statement on the life of an incredible man we were blessed to call a fellow Arizonan: pic.twitter.com/cyhUetFyMH
The dispute between Trump and McCain has been vitriolic and well-documented.
McCain’s plane was shot down during the Vietnam War in 1967 and he was taken captive in Hanoi. As a prisoner of war for two years, he suffered torture that resulted in his arms, legs and shoulders being broken reportedly. When he returned to the United States, he refused an offer of early release, in solidarity with his fellows POWs.
Trump, who deferred from service in Vietnam five times, citing “bone spurs” in his foot, has mocked the former army pilot, claiming, McCain only became a war hero “because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”
Trump reportedly did not regret the comment.
The president also mocked McCain — whose extended torture resulted in a life-long inability to raise his arms properly—when he voted “no” to the GOP’s skinny Obamacare repeal by reportedly mimicking the senator’s thumbs-down motion in private.
Earlier this year, Trump also signed a military finding bill named after McCain but in his remarks discussing the new legislation, the petty president made his contempt clear by not once mentioning the ex-POW’s name.
In May, it emerged the Arizonan Republican reportedly did not want Trump to attend his funeral. This remained unchanged during McCain’s final moments.
Instead former President George W Bush, who defeated McCain in 2000 and former Democratic President Barack Obama, who beat him in 2008 will reportedly deliver eulogies at the event at the United States Naval Academy in Maryland.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: REUTERS/Conor Ralph