President Donald Trump has been attacking the late Sen. John McCain constantly since this past weekend, when he sent out a series of tweets blaming the deceased lawmaker for sharing the Russia dossier and for failing to repeal Obamacare.
On Tuesday, Trump was blunt with reporters in the Oval Office, saying, “I was never a fan of John McCain, and I never will be.”
The pushback within the Republican Party to protect one of their most iconic members, who passed away seven months ago, has been weak. A handful of senators have sent out tweets that praised McCain but never named Trump. Some of them, like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.), just seemed like tributes to the deceased lawmaker.
Today and every day I miss my good friend John McCain. It was a blessing to serve alongside a rare patriot and genuine American hero in the Senate. His memory continues to remind me every day that our nation is sustained by the sacrifices of heroes.
— Leader McConnell (@senatemajldr) March 20, 2019
Even Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who was McCain’s best friend on Capitol Hill, sent out a nameless tweet that read simply like a eulogy to McCain and didn’t name Trump or even suggest that he took any issue with the president bashing his late colleague.
As to @SenJohnMcCain and his devotion to his country: He stepped forward to risk his life for his country, served honorably under difficult circumstances, and was one of the most consequential senators in the history of the body. (1/2)
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) March 17, 2019
But a few lawmakers have been critical of the president and weren’t afraid to name him. Among them was Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.).
“It was deplorable what he said,” Isakson told a Georgia Public Radio station. “[…] It will be deplorable seven months from now if he says it again, and I will continue to speak out.”
Watch the interview below:
Today on Political Rewind join us for a sit down with U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson.
Posted by GPB News on Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Isakson said that Trump’s criticisms of McCain showed a “lack of respect for his service.” McCain spent years in a Vietnam prison during the war. Isakson also criticized Trump in a conversation with The Bulwark.
“America deserves better, the people deserve better, and nobody — regardless of their position — is above common decency and respect for people that risk their life for your life,” he said.
Newly minted Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) was also critical of Trump and named him in a tweet.
“I can’t understand why the President would, once again, disparage a man as exemplary as my friend John McCain,” Romney wrote.