Watch Donald Trump question John McCain's war hero status: 'He was captured – I like people that weren't captured'

Video: Regardless of what Mr Trump says, he still comes top of most GOP polls

Click to follow

Donald Trump's presidential campaign is only four weeks old but he's had enough gaffes and controversies to make it feel like the business mogul has been running for years (well, he has been flirting with the idea since 1988).

Yet many commentators argue that the latest furore surround the Republican hopeful may mark a turning point in how the GOP views and treats the star The Apprentice.

At The Family Leadership Summit in Iowa on July 18 Mr Trump took aim at 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain, criticising the Arizona Senator's status as a war hero. "He's a war hero because he was captured - I like people that weren't captured, okay?

"I hate to tell you: He's a war hero because he was captured, okay? I believe that perhaps he's a war hero, but right now he's said some very bad things about a lot of people."

Watch Donald Trump's remarks here:

Mr McCain, who lost the 2008 presidential election against Barack Obama, spent over five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, enduring torture after his plane was shot down. He refused to be released before his fellow captives.

The comments were met by a smattering of boos in the hall, but Mr Trump noted that he got a standing ovation, stating that "everybody thought I gave the best presentation of anybody."

Unsurprisingly, his fellow Republican rivals did not believe he gave the best speech: "It's not just absurd," said Marco Rubio. "It's offensive. It's ridiculous. And I do think it is a disqualifier as commander in chief."

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush tweeted, "Enough with the slanderous attacks," while Rick Perry and Scott Walker also criticised the remarks.

The Republican National Committee released a statement that read: "There is no place in our party or our country for comments that disparage those who have served honorably."

Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner, said Mr McCain was a genuine war hero, but was critical of the fact that it taken so long for the GOP to stand up against Mr Trump and his remarks. It was only a few weeks ago that Mr Trump had said that Mexican immigrants were rapists and drug dealers, and the Republican condemnation to those remarks, Ms Clinton argued, was slow and hardly universal.

Mr Trump's comments after all the furore?

"I will say what I want to say."