‘I was never a fan…and I never will be….’
(John T. Bennett, CQ-Roll Call) President Donald Trump is not backing down from his attacks on the late Sen. John McCain, on Tuesday saying he was “never” fond of the Arizona Republican.
On Sunday, Trump fired off a tweet with several inaccuracies criticizing McCain for his role in getting a dossier allegedly containing negative information about Trump.
He also said McCain was “last in his class” at the U.S. Naval Academy; McCain was fifth from the bottom.
“I was never a fan of John McCain,” the president told reporters Tuesday in the Oval Office. “And I never will be.”
He also said he was “very unhappy” that McCain voted against a GOP bill that would have repealed and replaced the 2010 health law.
Trump’s attacks on McCain have drawn a rebuke from the late senator’s daughter Meghan McCain.
“(Trump) spends his weekend obsessing over great men because — he knows it and I know it and all of you know it — he will never be a great man,” she said Monday on ABC’s “The View.” “My father was his kryptonite in life, he’s his kryptonite in death.”
The renewed attacks on McCain come just as the late senator’s friend Sen. Lindsey Graham is scheduled to headline the Lincoln Day Dinner for the Republican Party of Palm Beach County in Florida, which is Friday night. The event featuring the South Carolina Republican will be held at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club.
Before a joint news conference with new Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, Trump took numerous questions.
“All options are on the table” for dealing with the political unrest in Venezuela, Trump declared, not ruling out U.S. or Brazilian military action. (On Monday, a senior Trump administration official told reporters that the White House sees Bolsonaro’s military as having sway with Venezuelan military leaders, which could prove key to driving out strongman Nicolas Maduro.)
“We don’t want to say exactly,” the U.S. president said, saying he and Bolsonaro are discussing “different things” for resolving the crisis facing Brazil’s neighbor.
White House officials have made a show of the Brazilian leader’s visit. Back home, Bolsonaro is known as the “Trump of the Tropics” for his similarities in style and policy substance to the American president.
The senior administration official described Trump’s goal for the visit as creating a “north-south axis” between the two countries.
“Clearly, we have seen, since day one, President Bolsonaro’s election as a real opportunity to fundamentally remake our relationship with Brazil,” the senior official told reporters on a conference call Monday.
“Our trade with Brazil will go substantially up,” Trump predicted the next day, “and that’s one of the things Brazil would like to see.”
(Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report.)
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