‘I was never a fan of John McCain and I never will be…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) Both Bill Weld and Mitt Romney presided as Republican governors in one of the most liberal states in the union but were unable to translate that experience into higher executive offices.
Now the two former Massachusetts governors and failed White House candidates have again crossed trajectories in their mutual Trump-bashing efforts while defending the late Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
The dossier—a collection of opposition research compiled by a former British spy with ties to Russian interests—had initially been bankrolled by the Hillary Clinton campaign.
The FBI later used it, under false pretenses, to launch an investigation into alleged collusion between Trump and Russia, paving the way for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation.
Responding to a comment by former Bill Clinton investigator Ken Starr, Trump tweeted that McCain’s role in helping leak the phony dossier to media and to the FBI was but one of many “stains” on his legacy.
Spreading the fake and totally discredited Dossier “is unfortunately a very dark stain against John McCain.” Ken Starr, Former Independent Counsel. He had far worse “stains” than this, including thumbs down on repeal and replace after years of campaigning to repeal and replace!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 16, 2019
After backlash from critics—including McCain’s daughter, “View” co-host Meghan McCain—Trump doubled down on Monday, saying “I was never a fan of John McCain and I never will be.”
Weld, who was the vice presidential running mate of Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson in 2016, recently re-registered as a Republican and declared his plan to challenge Trump in next year’s GOP primary.
“[O]ur President is simply too unstable to carry out the duties of the highest executive office—which include the specific duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed—in a competent and professional matter,” Weld said after announcing his primary challenge. “He is simply in the wrong place.”
On Tuesday, he used the brouhaha over McCain to continue his assault on the president, calling Trump’s criticism “contemptible and beneath the dignity of our American democracy” in a series of tweets.
“While [Trump’s] senseless attacks on allies have become all too common, his defamation of a deceased American hero has reached a new low and raises serious concerns about his mental stability and moral integrity,” Weld said.
— Gov. Bill Weld (@GovBillWeld) March 19, 2019
Romney, whose public beef with Trump goes back to the 2016 campaign, has been one of the most prominent critics of the president.
The Utah senator chimed in, slamming Trump for disparaging a “heroic” and “empathetic” man like McCain.
Like Romney in 2012, McCain was denied the presidency by Barack Obama following a lackluster, centrist-oriented 2008 campaign.
“I can’t understand why the President would, once again, disparage a man as exemplary as my friend John McCain: heroic, courageous, patriotic, honorable, self-effacing, self-sacrificing, empathetic, and driven by duty to family, country, and God,” Romney wrote on Twitter.
Although several other members of Congress weighed in on Wednesday, Trump continued to stand behind his criticism of McCain and to ignore the backlash, saying at an Ohio rally that McCain’s petty, vindictive vote against the repeal of Obamacare ended up “badly hurting our nation,” reported Politico.
Liberty Headlines’ Ben Sellers contributed to this report.