Why Is Trump So Hung Up On John McCain?

Tells you a lot about this President that he won’t let go at all, or otherwise modify his nasty Tweets and disparaging comments, even with the former Republican Presidential nominee and Senator from Arizona 7 months in the ground.

We think the answer’s pretty simple really. Or rather there are 3 answers, the biggest by far being:

McCain was respected more than Trump has ever been. Even people who didn’t agree with him politically respected him as a person, and a war hero. Yet he lost when he ran for President. So how can that be? McCain was a “loser” whom everyone loved, and Trump is a winner, yet half the country dislikes him? That just doesn’t mesh in the President’s head. It’s just unfair. Because no one deserves more respect than Trump.

In fact, if you look at the now-infamous pre-election clip where Trump says McCain was a war hero “because he was captured”, adding “I like people who weren’t captured, OK?”, which we’ve put a link to here, Trump says something else immediately before, which is perhaps even more telling, yet no one really talks about it. He says:

I raised a million dollars for him. It’s a lot of money. I supported him. He lost. He let us down. But, you know, he lost. So I never liked him as much after that, ’cause I don’t like losers.”

Trump thinks McCain didn’t protect him, and instead tried to do him in by spilling the beans on the “Steele dossier”Tweeting over the weekend that “’last in his class’…John McCain …sent the Fake Dossier to the FBI and Media hoping to have it printed BEFORE the Election ”. Which does not appear to be true. According to the “court papers” Trump refers to, McCain did not go to the F.B.I. with the dossier until after the election, because he did not know about the dossier until the Halifax International Security Forum, which wasn’t until November 19. After the election. (The revelation that McCain might’ve also eventually shared with some members of the media does appear to be new).

Even so, Trump’s big on being protected by his own people, so his vision of the way things should work is a member of his own party should’ve brought it to him, instead of putting it in the hands of the F.B.I. And then there was McCain’s deciding vote to not kill Obamacare. In Trump’s view, McCain robbed him of something that should’ve been his first great political victory, and everybody assumed was kind of in the bag. Then the Senator, who was ailing at the time from the brain cancer that would eventually kill him, flew back from Arizona and gave the now-famous, last-minute thumbs down.

McCain’s thumbs down on killing Obamacare back in July 2017

Derisively imitating McCain at a rally about a year later

Trump probably thought he was making a clever comment when he first made that comment we referred to earlier that “I like people who weren’t captured, OK?” While that inexplicably didn’t seem to hurt him politically at the time, we don’t see how it did him any favors either, because what sane person would back the President up on that? No way Trump was ever going to apologize, but he could’ve backed away a bit. But it’s Trump we’re talking about! So he went and did what he always does: doubled-down. And continues to do so, including those really obnoxious weekend Tweets, followed up by repugnant quips made during a typically stream-of-consciousness hate-spew during a visit to Ohio that had nothing to do with McCain at all.

So perhaps it’s fitting that McCain’s haunting Trump.


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