President Donald Trump says Wednesday that he didn’t receive a thank you for approving the funeral the late Sen. John McCain wanted, marking his latest grievance in his recent onslaught against the Arizona Republican.
“I endorsed him at his request, and I gave him the kind of funeral that he wanted, which as President I had to approve. I don’t care about this. I didn’t get thank you. That’s OK. We sent him on the way. But I wasn’t a fan of John McCain,” Trump said during a speech Wednesday at a tank factory in Lima, Ohio.
Last year, McCain died of brain cancer, and as part of his services, lay in state in the Capitol building in Washington.
CNN previously reported that the senator, who had been held as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, did not want the President at his funeral. McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, also revealed earlier this year that she wished Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, Trump’s daughter and son-in-law and senior advisers, had not attended the funeral.
Trump’s remark about the funeral came as the President has continued to denigrate the dead senator’s legacy.
Last weekend, Trump attacked McCain in several tweets that targeted his ties to the controversial Russia dossier and his vote against repealing Obamacare. He also referred to McCain as being “last in his class” at the US Naval Academy.
On Tuesday, he continued his criticism, telling reporters at the White House that “I was never a fan of John McCain and I never will be.”
The late senator’s widow, Cindy McCain, publicized hateful messages she’s been receiving since Trump’s tweets, and daughter Meghan McCain has continued to respond to the President online and on ABC’s “The View,” where she’s a co-host.
All the while, a growing number Republican members of Congress have been publicly pushing back on Trump’s comments, defending McCain.
In front of factory workers at the Ohio plant on Wednesday, Trump dedicated a considerable amount of time in his speech to disparaging McCain.
“I have to be honest,” Trump said, “I never liked him much. Hasn’t been for me.”
He said he probably “never will” like McCain, because “John McCain received a fake and phony dossier.”
He also dug into McCain’s now-famous vote against a repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
“When he finally had the chance to do it, he voted against repeal and replace,” the President said. “Remember thumbs down?”
On Tuesday, Trump falsely accused McCain of misleading the White House over how he would vote.
Trump added Wednesday that veterans were on his side during the dispute, because McCain “didn’t get the job done” with the Veterans Administration.
He also blamed McCain for wars in the Middle East.
“He was calling (President George W.) Bush, President Bush all the time, ‘Get into the Middle East! Get in to the Middle East,’ ” Trump claimed, adding we’ve lost “tremendous health and tremendous lives in that war.”