The US president is facing massive fury over his failure to issue an official White House statement praising the deeds of John McCain, with his critics accusing him of insulting a true American hero because of personal enmity.
Donald Trump has reportedly ordered his aides to scrap a eulogy in praise of John McCain, over a personal grudge the president had towards the Republican hawk, according to the Washington Post’s report. As the New York Times accused the president of failure to award a “cursory public show of respect for John McCain,” Twitter users called the US leader a “morally bankrupt person” and accused him of “mocking and trolling” the national hero.
The Trump-right is mocking and trolling McCain’s death.
Smite them if you wish, but know one thing with perfect clarity.
History will record John McCain as a hero, a legend and a man in full.@realDonaldTrump will go down as a coward, cheat, weakling, failure, and traitor.
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) August 26, 2018
President Trump didn’t make even the most cursory public show of respect for John McCain, against whom he had continued a personal grievance even as it was apparent that the the senator was losing his battle with brain cancer https://t.co/ppc0wP1L8b
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 27, 2018
Once again by rejecting a White House statement mourning the loss of a true American patriot, John McCain, Donald Trump continues to wear the mantle of “despicable human being” and the most morally bankrupt person ever to occupy the Oval Office.
— Rob Reiner (@robreiner) August 27, 2018
Amid the outburst of criticism, the Washington Post has learned from unnamed ‘insiders’ that the White House staff stood firm on issuing a statement of praise for the Arizona Senator. However, the eulogy release, advocated by Chief of Staff John F. Kelly and press secretary Sarah Sanders, was scrapped at the last minute on the personal order of Trump, anonymous sources told the publication.
While multiple drafts of the statement were prepared for the president, the affirmation text, in particular, wanted to commend the courage of the Vietnam War POW and proclaim him a “hero” for his long service to his country. Trump instead reportedly told his staff that a tweet would suffice in this instance.
In sharp contrast to an array of similarly worded sympathies and praises, expressed by US lawmakers, former presidents and foreign leaders, on Saturday Trump instead tweeted briefly: “My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!”
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
To soften the potential public relations blow for the disregard for McCain’s status, Trump’s immediate subordinates started posting statements of praise for the late senator from Arizona, who died after battling brain cancer on Saturday. The White House press secretary and Vice President Mike Pence are just among those few closest to Trump who applauded McCain’s character.
Trump’s animosity towards McCain –he once declared that the POW Republican was “not a war hero”– was shared by plenty in the online community, where a number of voices questioned the senator’s moral integrity and his representation of American values and interests.
Being an outspoken critic of Donald Trump and his policies, the Republican hawk was never shy about attacking the administration. Using his political weight, the 81-year-old tried to undermine Trump’s candidacy from within the party, eventually leading to a full-blown rift between both men. Weeks leading up to his death, McCain called Trump “naïve” for meeting Vladimir Putin at the Helsinki Summit.
“The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naivete, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate. But it is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake,” he said.
While McCain, prior to his death, requested that George W. Bush and Barack Obama deliver eulogies at his funeral, the senator chose to ‘disinvite’ Trump to his service. It is unclear whether the US leader will attend the state funeral on Friday.
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