Trump Fails to Cite McCain’s Name in Signing Bill Named for Him

Neither the President nor Mike Pence mentioned McCain’s name when signing the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act…

Trump Fails to Cite McCain’s Name in Signing Bill Named for Him

Donald Trump (screen shot: NBC News/Youtube)

(Justin Sink, Bloomberg News) President Donald Trump signed defense legislation named for Sen. John McCain in a splashy ceremony at a New York Army base on Monday without once mentioning the ailing Arizona Republican’s name.

Trump traveled to Fort Drum, N.Y., from his golf resort in Bedminster, N.J., to sign the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act, the fiscal 2019 version of legislation Congress passes annually to set priorities for the military. He was joined by Vice President Mike Pence, who traveled separately from Washington.

In an unusual ceremony, Trump and Pence observed soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division perform an artillery drill as attack helicopters hovered overhead before delivering speeches from a stage festooned with flags and military hardware.

“I’m here today to sign our new defense bill into law,” Trump said. “The national defense authorization act is the most significant investment in our military and our war fighters in our nation’s history.”

Neither of the men mentioned McCain, 81, the Navy veteran who while fighting brain cancer at his home in Arizona has become one of Trump’s most outspoken critics in Congress. McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, hasn’t been back to Washington in months, and his colleagues titled the bill in his honor.

“I’m humbled that my colleagues in Congress chose to designate this bill in my name,” McCain said in a statement Monday. “Serving as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and working on behalf of America’s brave service members has been one of the greatest honors of my life.”

McCain harshly criticized Trump’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin last month, calling it a “tragic mistake” after Trump sided with the Russian leader in criticizing the Department of Justice investigation into the Kremlin’s 2016 election interference.

“No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant,” McCain said in a statement after the summit in Helsinki.

Shortly after Trump’s speech on Monday, Cindy McCain, the senator’s wife, tweeted “I’m so proud of @SenJohnMcCain and his work on NDAA. Incredibly humbled at the naming of this after my husband.”

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