Donald Trump continued his week-long attack on the late Senator John McCain on Friday, saying that McCain turned over the Steele dossier to the FBI “for very evil purposes.” In an interview with Maria Bartiromo on Fox News Business, via YouTube, the president also explained that it was the media’s fault that he was forced to attack McCain.
Bartiromo asked Trump about the feud, saying that it had been a major news focus over the past week — and that “bashing” McCain had taken up a good deal of the president’s time.
“It’s not a good portion of my time, it’s a very small portion,” Trump countered.
He then explained that he was forced to attack McCain because the Arizona politician had worked with Hillary Clinton to spread what he called the “fake” dossier compiled by Christopher Steele.
“They gave it to John McCain, who gave it to the FBI for very evil purposes. That’s not good,” Trump said. “And the other thing, he voted against repeal and replace — now he’s been campaigning for years for repeal and replace.”
He added that McCain had hurt sick people, and the nation, when he chose to vote down the Obamacare repeal.
Bartiromo pushed Trump, saying that while she recognized that it was his style to “punch back” against people, he was punching a person who couldn’t punch back.
Trump also blamed the media for fueling the feud between himself and McCain. He claimed that he doesn’t talk about McCain, but that she and other reporters had asked him about it — so he was forced to respond.
“No, I don’t talk about it. People ask me the question, I didn’t bring this up,” Trump said. “You just brought it up, you asked the question. When I went out yesterday to the scrum, they asked me the question. When they ask me the question, I answer the question.”
When Bartiromo asked if he felt a responsibility to unite the country rather than pushing it apart with his rhetoric, he said that he believes he is uniting the country — thanks to the economy and improved job numbers for women and minorities. When Bartiromo pointed out that his attacks against McCain weren’t uniting the country, he said that she wasn’t supposed to ask about McCain, but since she did, he was forced to respond, calling the interview “fake news.”
“It’s not fake news, you just told me why you have an issue with him, it’s real news,” she replied.
Trump appeared on the show to discuss the economy, and throughout, he slammed NAFTA and celebrated his tariffs and WTO reform. He also claimed that he would keep the economy expanding, largely thanks to his revamped economic foreign policies. He also attacked the media once again, saying that the “corrupt” mainstream media is against him.