U.S. President Donald Trump and Sen. John McCain had a fraught relationship while the Arizona senator was still alive. So much so that McCain even made clear that he did not want the president at his funeral when he finally succumbed to brain cancer.
Somehow, months after his death in August 2018, Trump is still throwing punches at McCain. Over the weekend, he took to Twitter in a bizarre tirade against the long-dead senator. And he wasn’t done there. On Wednesday, he tried to take credit for work that McCain did, according to TIME Magazine.
The president tried to claim that it was actually him that “gave veterans the option to see a private doctor at public expense,” when in reality that work was done by McCain. As the publication points out, the Choice program, as it was named, was actually signed into law by his predecessor, former President Barack Obama, back in 2014, before Trump even announced his bid for the White House.
“The vets were on my side because I got the job done. I got Choice and I got accountability. … For many decades, they couldn’t get it done. It was never done. I got it. Five months ago, I got it done. Choice,” Trump said in Lima, Ohio on Wednesday.
In fact, Trump has only managed to expand on the original work that had already been done by McCain and Sen. Bernie Sanders, and with their continued work to do so.
Republicans begged him to stop, but Trump escalated his attacks on McCain, who even in death has remained one of his top targets https://t.co/f4T7Sp3QJ6— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) March 21, 2019
McCain, who is an army veteran from the Vietnam War where he was actually tortured as a prisoner of war, worked tirelessly to help veterans during his time in politics and was a co-sponsor of the original bill that Obama signed into law. That proposal resulted in an overhaul of the Department of Veteran Affairs.
Just months before his death, McCain was able to expand on his original work for the veterans on the Choice program. What Trump seems to be forgetting in his latest claim to victory is that he signed the bill last year in May, before McCain’s death, and that it’s actually named partially after the senator who championed it.
Further remarks on Wednesday about McCain included the president complaining that he “didn’t get a ‘thank you'” for McCain’s funeral after giving the senator and military vet “the kind of funeral he wanted,” according to the Washington Post.
Others who Trump set his sights on during his Twitter tirade over the weekend included George Conway, senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway’s husband, and Saturday Night Live for mocking him in a rerun.