Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Sunday he has never received an apology from President Donald Trump for comments Trump made in 2015 that McCain, who was held captive in North Vietnam for more than five years, was not a war hero.
During a campaign appearance in Iowa in July 2015, Trump was speaking about McCain and said, “He’s not a war hero.”
“He was a war hero because he was captured,” Trump said at the time. “I like people who weren’t captured.”
However, only days after the remark put Trump on front pages across the country, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly upbraided Trump for the comment and said he should rethink his words.
“I used to like him a lot. I supported him. I raised a lot of money for his campaign against President Obama, and certainly, if there was a misunderstanding, I would totally take that back,” Trump then told O’Reilly.
“But hopefully, I said it correctly and certainly, shortly thereafter, I said it correctly,” Trump said. At the time, Trump’s comments were characterized as “an apology of sorts.”
Trump also tweeted a welcome to McCain two years later he returned to Washington after surgery, at which time the 81-year-old lawmaker had been diagnosed with a brain tumor known as a glioblastoma.
So great that John McCain is coming back to vote. Brave – American hero! Thank you John.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017
“So great that John McCain is coming back to vote. Brave – American hero! Thank you John,” Trump tweeted then.
McCain insisted during a 60 Minutes interview on Sunday he is not out to get Trump through votes that have blocked GOP efforts to overhaul Obamacare.
“If I took offense at everybody who has said something about me, or disparaged me or something like that — life is too short,” McCain said. “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.”
Others have not been so sure.
“I think this is about Trump,” O’Reilly said after McCain’s first vote to kill off an Obamacare overhaul.
“I think McCain despises Trump so much because of the POW comment during the campaign. … I think it’s about McCain basically saying to himself, ‘I really despise Trump and I think Trump should be out of there. I’m going to make it impossible for Trump to have any kind of legislative victories.’ That’s what I think this is about,” O’Reilly said.
McCain did voice displeasure with Trump during Sunday’s interview.
“I don’t know what he’s gonna do tomorrow or say tomorrow,” McCain said. “He changes his statements almost on a daily basis. So for me to spend my time trying to analyze what he says, I don’t know.”
McCain said he would talk to Trump, but suggested that their “different life experiences” mean there is a vast gulf between them
“He is in the business of making money and he has been successful both in television as well as Miss America and others,” McCain said. “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.”
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