When President Donald Trump checks Twitter today, on his birthday, he might spot a present from some Twitter users — but he probably won’t like it very much.
Donald Trump started his 73rd birthday on Friday with an interview on “Fox & Friends,” but Twitter users critical of the president had something else in mind. Instead of celebrating the president, they celebrated the late Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.).
The movement was started by Andy Lassner, an executive producer for “The Ellen Show,” announcing his intention to honor “an American hero” early Friday morning.
“Let’s celebrate [Donald Trump’s] birthday today by having #JohnMcCainDay trend,” he wrote. “I’m sure this would mean a lot to [a] patriot like Donald Trump.”
Honoring an American hero today.
I’m sure this would mean a lot to patriot like Donald Trump. #JohnMcCainDay
— andy lassner (@andylassner) June 14, 2019
And with that, it was off. Lassner’s tweeted quickly accumulated thousands of retweets and other users joined the conversation.
Just after 9 a.m. ET, #JohnMcCainDay was the top trending topic in the United States with more than 51,000 tweets using the hashtag:
“I refuse to celebrate a draft dodger today,” one user wrote. “Instead today will be #JohnMcCainDay.”
I refuse to celebrate a draft dodger today. Instead today will be #JohnMcCainDay. And @andylassner would hate if you made it trend and it’s fun for him to hate things so please give a tweet to #JohnMcCainDay
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) June 14, 2019
Writer Molly McKew shared a quote from McCain’s final memoir, “The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations.”
“We were born to love, and we were born to have the courage for it,” McCain wrote. “So be brave — the rest is easy.”
I'm down with the #JohnMcCainDay troll. So a reminder of the end of his last book:
"We were born to love, and we were born to have the courage for it. So be brave — the rest is easy."
No statement could so condemn the current POTUS as a coward.
— Molly McKew (@MollyMcKew) June 14, 2019
For his part, Trump hasn’t done much to hide his contempt for the late senator. The president attacked McCain’s military service and prisoner of war status during the 2016 presidential campaign and grew sharply critical of the then-ailing McCain when he returned from treatment in Arizona to cast a vote effectively killing Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
But Trump’s offensive against McCain didn’t stop after the senator’s death in 2018. Trump has continued to use the senator’s health care vote as a punchline in campaign rallies. And the White House was embroiled in controversy during the president’s recent trip to Japan over attempts to direct the United States Navy to obscure the ship named for McCain his father, Admiral John S. McCain Jr., and his grandfather, Admiral John S. McCain Sr.