Even in death, reports indicate President Donald Trump was reluctant to extol U.S. Sen. John McCain’s service to the nation as a prisoner of war and six-term Republican senator from Arizona.
During the 2016 presidential race, then-candidate Trump earned widespread criticism for asserting that McCain was “not a war hero” because he was captured by enemy combatants and tortured for five years.
“I like people who weren’t captured,” he said at the time.
After McCain’s death following a yearlong battle with brain cancer, Trump reportedly refused his communication team’s draft of a statement referring to the 81-year-old as a “hero.”
The president tweeted his condolences instead.
“My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain,” Trump wrote. “Our hearts and prayers are with you!”
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