Trump talks about Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, but avoids talking about gravely ill John McCain
While many leading Republicans, including Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell, offered their prayers, Trump refused to even mention McCain during his Ohio fundraiser speech.
President Donald Trump did not even mention John McCain once during his public address on Friday, a day on which the Arizona senator and former prisoner of war announced he was stopping treatment for his aggressive brain cancer.
As the Daily Mail reports, during his speech at a fundraising dinner for the Ohio Republican Party in Columbus on Friday, Trump delivered another one of his meandering, broadly overarching speeches where he spoke about illegal immigration, attacked Democrats and ESPN, and even found the time to give shout-outs to Kim and Kanye West. But he failed to pay tribute to the 35-year veteran of Congress, whose announcement to stop treatment is the beginning of the end to an illustrious life.
Many leading Republicans, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, offered their prayers and support to McCain after his family made the sad announcement on Friday morning. "I would just ask each and every one of you to hold John McCain in your prayers," Ryan said on Friday.
"John is obviously entering the last stages, and this is a man who served our country in so many ways and capacities —who was a prisoner of war for several years at thee Hanoi Hilton, and then fought for us in Congress, and we just want to keep John McCain, Cindy and their entire family in our prayers."
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune, and Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., all paid tribute to the veteran. But Trump, who has publicly clashed with McCain since the very beginning of his 2016 presidential campaign, has been notably silent.
While discussing his support among African-American voters, Trump said: "Now we're doing great, and Kanye West likes me."
"All of a sudden those numbers started going up, up, up, and we did great. Now we’re doing great and Kanye West liked me. And that really lifted my [numbers],” Trump said of Kanye during the speech.
“Kanye West has some real power! And he’s got a good wife too in Kim, I’ll tell ya. She really is. She did a great thing, a great thing,” he continued, referencing how he pardoned Alice Marie Johnson following the 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians' star’s months-long campaign.
“That was through Kim Kardashian, I think it was terrific,” added Trump, who even sent his “warmest regards” to North Korea’s Kim Jong Un at one point during the insensitive speech, which you can watch below.
President Trump speaks at the Ohio Republican Party State dinner in Columbus, OH. https://t.co/H9y51ZebtO— Circa (@Circa) August 24, 2018
Sen. McCain, who has served Arizona in Congress since 1982, learned about his brain cancer when undergoing a surgery to remove a blood clot above his eye in summer 2017.
In a statement released on Twitter (which you can read below), the McCain family explained that the 81-year-old politician — who was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer with a median survival rate of just 15 months, in July 2017 — made the decision.
“Last summer, Senator John McCain shared with Americans the news our family already knew: he had been diagnosed with an aggressive glioblastoma, and the prognosis was serious,” the statement said. “In the year since, John has surpassed expectations for his survival. But the progress of disease and the inexorable advance of age render their verdict. With his usual strength of will, he has now chosen to discontinue medical treatment.”
McCain previously survived three bouts of melanoma, an aggressive skin cancer that can spread to the brain and cause bleeding. He was diagnosed with invasive melanoma in 2000, and has been regularly screened by his doctors. Two other malignant melanomas had also been removed: on his left shoulder in 1993 and his left nasal wall in 2002. Read the full statement below.
My family is deeply appreciative of all the love and generosity you have shown us during this past year. Thank you for all your continued support and prayers. We could not have made it this far without you - you've given us strength to carry on. pic.twitter.com/KuAQSASoa7— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) August 24, 2018
Of course, Friday's speech was not the first time Trump has publicly snubbed McCain, but the timing couldn't be worse this time. Earlier this month, Trump neglected to mention McCain when he signed a defense spending bill that was actually named in honor of the former POW. Trump signed the 'John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act' at Fort Drum in New York but never said McCain’s name aloud even once.
Trump once even claimed McCain wasn't a war hero because he was captured and tortured in Vietnam. 'I like people who weren't captured,' Trump said in July 2015.