The Slatest

John McCain Heroically Undermines, Insults Trump in Statement About Call to Australian Ambassador

John McCain at Donald Trump’s inauguration in Washington on Jan. 20.

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

On Wednesday the Washington Post reported that Donald Trump got in a heated argument with the prime minister of Australia during a Saturday phone conversation in which Trump for some reason also “boasted about the magnitude of his electoral college win.” (The heated argument was apparently over the United States’ pre-existing agreement to take in 1,250 refugees—whom Trump later referred to in a tweet as “illegal immigrants”—that are currently being held under Australian guard in two Pacific island detention centers.*)


On Thursday, John McCain, the Arizona senator and former Vietnam POW whom Trump famously belittled in 2015, coincidentally released a statement about his appreciation for a certain longtime U.S. ally:

I called Australia’s Ambassador to the United States this morning to express my unwavering support for the U.S.-Australia alliance. I asked Ambassador Hockey to convey to the people of Australia that their American brothers and sisters value our historic alliance, honor the sacrifice of the Australians who have served and are serving by our side, and remain committed to the safer, freer, and better world that Australia does far more than its fair share to protect and promote.


The statement doesn’t mention Trump by name, but it does include this line:


Those of us who took part in the conflict remember well the service of more than 50,000 Australians in the Vietnam War, including more than 500 that gave their lives.

You may recall that our commander in chief was able to avoid serving in Vietnam because he allegedly had bone spurs in his heels. He also later described the effort of avoiding sexually transmitted diseases as his own “personal Vietnam.”

John McCain may not be the America-uniting idealist that some people thought he was in 1999 and 2000, but he is too old to ever have to run for re-election again and he does think our president is a dumbass and that is, at the least, going to be entertaining.

*Correction, Feb. 2, 2017: This post originally misstated that the refugees in question are being held in Australia. They are being held in Australian facilities on two Pacific islands that are not part of Australia.