Donald Trump is taking some friendly fire for his failure to pay tribute to John McCain.
The president is facing widespread criticism for his reaction to the passing of the Arizona Senator, and now even Fox News is joining in. As The Hill noted, some of the hosts from the Trump-friendly cable news network are taking on the president for his reaction to McCain’s passing.
“My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain,” Trump wrote on Saturday. “Our hearts and prayers are with you!”
One of the swipes came from anchor Brit Hume, who noted that Trump’s message on Twitter failed to offer any praise for McCain as nearly all other prominent politicians did, but instead only offered condolences.
“Still not a kind word about McCain himself,” Hume noted.
Others have criticized Donald Trump for an Instagram message saying he was thinking of McCain’s family, a post that for some reason included a picture of a pensive Trump and no pictures of McCain.
A number of politicians have posted messages remembering McCain’s sacrifices during the Vietnam War, where he was imprisoned in a POW camp for five years. McCain later became a U.S. Senator and was the Republican candidate for president in 2008.
Donald Trump had a contentious relationship with McCain, dating back to the 2016 presidential campaign when Trump said that McCain is not a war hero because he was captured during the Vietnam War. Earlier this year, White House official Kelly Sadler reportedly took a shot at McCain during a discussion about hearings for the new CIA director, saying McCain’s opinion on the matter was irrelevant because he would be “dead soon anyway.” The White House refused to apologize for the comment.
Trump’s perceived animosity towards McCain reportedly did not soften as the Arizona Senator battled a terminal and aggressive form of brain cancer. On Saturday, the Washington Post reported that Trump told top aides that he did not regret mocking McCain.
Trump’s reaction to McCain’s death drew criticism from many on the left, but the criticism from Fox News comes as a bit more of a surprise. The network has often been cast as perhaps the most prominent defenders of Trump and his administration — though some anchors, including Shepard Smith, have frequently called out the president.
While Donald Trump may not have honored John McCain’s accomplishments in any of his public messages, the White House did lower flags to half-staff in honor of McCain.