‘Draft dodging’ Trump slammed for mocking John McCain’s war injuries

The former president’s comments come following a years-long feud with the late senator

Amelia Neath
Monday 08 January 2024 12:18 GMT
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“Draft dodging” Donald Trump has been slammed for mocking late senator John McCain for his war injuries.

At a campaign event in Iowa on Saturday – on the three-year anniversary of the January 6 Capitol riots – Mr Trump mimicked Mr McCain’s war-inflicted injuries that left him physically disabled and unable to raise his arms over his head.

The moment came as the former president brought up the “skinny repeal” bill of July 2017, which sought to partially repeal the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

The bill failed 49-51 in the Senate after Mr McCain famously cast his vote with a dramatic thumbs-down motion, collapsing the Republican party’s efforts to derail Obamacare.

The former president recounted that day in his campaign speech and blamed McCain for the bill’s failure.

“Obamacare is a catastrophe; nobody talks about it. You know, without John McCain, we would have had it done,” Mr Trump said.

“But John McCain, for some reason, couldn’t get his arm up that day, remember?”

Mr Trump then mimicked the late politician by pointing his thumb down.

The late senator’s daughter, Meghan McCain, took to social media to call out Mr Trump for his comments.

Meghan McCain called Trump an “election denying huckster”
Meghan McCain called Trump an “election denying huckster” (Getty Images)

“My dad was an American hero. An icon. A patriot that will be remembered throughout history,” she wrote.

“I cannot buy a bagel without someone approaching me about how much they loved and miss him.”

“Trump is a piece of s***, election denying, huckster whose own wife won’t campaign with him,” she concluded, referring to his wife, Melania Trump, who has been notably absent from Mr Trump’s campaign efforts.

GOP strategist and John McCain’s former political consultant Mike Murphy also took to X to lay into Mr Trump, calling him a “gutless, draft dodging coward.”

John McCain famously blocked the efforts to derail Obamacare in 2017
John McCain famously blocked the efforts to derail Obamacare in 2017 (GETTY IMAGES)

“Trump wouldn’t understand, but having both arms broken in an ejector seat, then being beaten and bayoneted by a crowd when he landed in Hanoi, and then tortured in prison with iron bars, yes, John McCain had f****** trouble raising his arms,” he wrote.

Before his political career, McCain served in the US Navy during the Vietnam War, where he was captured as a prisoner of war and sustained life-long disabilities. He died from a brain tumour in 2018.

This isn’t the first time the former president has criticised McCain, both for his blocking of the repealing of Obamacare and his war hero reputation.

During his previous presidential campaign in 2015, he said of McCain: “He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

Mr Trump and McCain were often at odds with each other right up to the former senator’s death, with McCain often criticising the president and vice versa.

Even after McCain’s death, Mr Trump has continued his attacks of the former senator.

The then-president took two days to lower flags to half-staff at the White House after McCain’s death, CBS News reported. He also once told Fox News that he was “not a fan” of McCain.

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