President Donald Trump made it clear Saturday that just because someone is dead, doesn’t mean that they get a reprieve from his petty squabbles. Trump was never shy about criticizing Sen. John McCain when he was alive. And for anyone wondering, Trump sent the message that he wouldn’t end his criticism just because he has since passed away. If Trump holds a grudge against you, it will apparently continue until the end of time.
The president’s criticism of the late senator began with a quote of a comment by former independent counsel Ken Starr who was referring to reports that it was McCain’s office that passed along the unverified dossier of Trump’s ties to Russia to the media. Starr had said that while McCain was an “American hero,” the reports, if true, amount to a “very dark stain” on the late senator. Trump, however, seized this opportunity to bring up his long-held criticism of McCain, saying the Arizona Republican “had far worse ‘stains’ than this,” going on to cite his vote against efforts to repeal Obamacare in 2017.
Trump’s tweet opened the floodgates of criticism with many expressing disbelief that the commander in chief would stoop so low as to attack a dead man. Meghan McCain quickly blasted the president for his tweet, writing that “no one will ever love you the way they loved my father.” She added that maybe the commander in chief should spend more time with his family than on his Twitter account. The president did seem particularly Twitter-obsessed Saturday, tweeting or retweeting at least 20 times as of late afternoon.
Many of those who criticized Trump contrasted how the president seemingly doesn’t hesitate to use harsh language to refer to an American war hero when he is full of praise to some of the world’s most brutal rulers, including North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.
This marks the second time this year that Trump has criticized McCain. At a lunch with news anchors in early February, Trump reportedly brought up McCain’s vote and made fun of his memoir in which he was critical of the president. “By the way,” Trump said, according to the New York Times, “he wrote a book and the book bombed.”