White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had a "nervous breakdown" because of how Donald Trump behaved following the death of Senator John McCain, the president himself claimed in an interview with Bloomberg.
Trump and McCain shared a sour relationship, with the former often mocking the Vietnam war veteran and feuding with him publicly over policy matters. Despite McCain's health deteriorating over the last many months, Trump continued to bring him up in campaign rallies and didn't attempt to reconcile with him even in his last days, drawing scorn even from his own party.
When asked by a reporter if John McCain would have made a better president than Barack Obama following the Senator's death, Trump refused to answer the question even as Sarah Sanders pleaded with him to do it. Trump later joked that it seemed as if she was "having a nervous breakdown" because of his refusal to answer, but nonetheless clarified that he didn't want to comment because of how strong his opinion was about the matter, reports Business Insider.
"I don't want to comment on it," Trump reportedly said in response to the question.
"I have a very strong opinion. Maybe I'll give you that answer some day later."
Trump also maintained in the interview that those saying that he hadn't paid proper respects to McCain were off the mark since he had done so. The White House lowered its flag to half-staff immediately after the Senator's death, but it was back to full-staff on Monday morning. After a widespread condemnation for this move, especially by veteran groups, the White House lowered the flag back to half-staff.
What was perhaps one of the stranger sections of the interview was when Trump claimed that he had done everything to respect McCain that "they requested" -- basically an admission that he had been forced to pay respects by his aides.
"I've done everything that they requested and no, I don't think I have at all," he said when asked if he had failed to unite the country following McCain's death. "I respect his service to the country."
While McCain's body was transferred to Washington DC on Thursday evening for scheduled memorial services, Trump pressed ahead with a campaign rally in Indiana at the same time. It is believed that Trump aides considered the optics of such a move, but decided to go ahead with the rally anyway.
It appears John McCain's death has also caused some rift between Donald Trump and First Lady Melania, with the Inquisitr earlier reporting that she was "embarrassed" by the whole situation.