Senator John McCain (R-AZ) passed away yesterday at the age of 81. His death is being mourned by both Republicans and Democrats alike, an appreciation for his integrity and dedication to public service serving as a unifying force in an increasingly divided nation.
The former presidential candidate had little love for the current occupant of the Oval Office and sparred with him on numerous occasions, perhaps most famously when he voted against the regressive, nihilistic “skinny repeal” of Obamacare, torpedoing a cornerstone of Trump’s legislative agenda.
Trump infamously attacked McCain in 2016, insulting him and mocking his time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. The real estate conman himself refused to serve in the military, receiving numerous deferments by claiming that he suffered from “bone spurs.” It was clear at the time of the heinous comments that Trump was jealous of the respect McCain received for his military record.
While diplomats, former rivals, and current heads of state will flock to McCain’s funeral — during which George W. Bush and Barack Obama will eulogize the deceased statesman — Trump himself was not invited in deferment to McCain’s specific wishes.
Now, it’s been revealed that in a stunningly petty yet perfectly in character move, Trump stopped the White House from issuing a statement in honor of McCain after his death.
The Washington Post reports that Trump blocked efforts by White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Chief of Staff John Kelly, and numerous other aides to issue a statement praising McCain’s courage and calling him a “hero.”
Instead, Trump told his aides that he wanted to simply write a tweet about the senator’s passing. The tweet itself addressed McCain’s mourning family, but made no mention of the senator’s life or his service and pointedly did not refer to him as a “hero.”
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
The failure to recognize McCain’s legacy is an unprecedented sign of disrespect from the president. Customarily, presidents have kinds words for prominent Americans in the wake of their deaths, even if they didn’t agree with them politically or personally. It’s painfully obvious that the much-hated Trump resents McCain’s popularity and reputation.
History will remember McCain, with all his flaws and weaknesses, as someone who loved America. Trump will be remembered as someone opposed to everything this country stands for.