White House wanted to call John McCain a "hero", but Donald Trump was having none of it
The 81-year-old Arizona Senator died on Saturday after battling an aggressive form of brain cancer he was diagnosed with nearly a year ago.
President Donald Trump reportedly turned down the release of an official White House statement lauding Senator John McCain as a "hero" and tweeted an apparently curt reaction to his Republican colleague's death. The 81-year-old Arizona Senator died on Saturday after battling an aggressive form of brain cancer he was diagnosed with nearly a year ago. The announcement that he was ceasing medical treatment for his cancer was made by his family on Friday.
According to The Washington Post report Sunday, Trump decided to do away with the White House statement, which his aides, including press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, had prepared for the president to use.
The Republican president, instead of the complementary statement, decided to post a brief tweet, which did not, in any way, say anything about McCain.
"My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!" Trump wrote on Twitter.
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
There appeared to be a significant difference between the president's tweet and the statement released by current and former government officials and staffers from the sides of the party. All of the officials complimented McCain and praised him as a war hero who devoted his entire life to public service.
Our statement on the passing of Senator John McCain: pic.twitter.com/3GBjNYxoj5— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 26, 2018
Trump, according to The Post, deliberately avoided using any complimentary remarks for the Arizona Senator just days before he refused to comment after McCain's family announced that he would not be seeking treatment for his cancer anymore. This was an indication that the senator was reaching the end of his life.
Previous reports had stated that Trump did not release a statement initially because he did not want to comment on McCain until after his death.
Senator McCain and President Trump have shared a tumultuous relationship ever since the latter had insisted during his 2016 presidential campaign trail that the Republican was "not a war hero" because he was captured.
Trump, earlier this month, had also failed to mention a single word about the war hero while signing a defense deal with the senator's name on it — John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act.
Reports state that earlier this year President Trump was disinvited to Senator McCain's funeral while Vice President Mike Pence was extended an invitation to attend the procession. Former Presidents Barack Obama and George W Bush have also been invited and will deliver eulogies the service, according to reports.