Donald Trump and John McCain wrote a new chapter in their long feud this week, when the president ripped the Arizona GOP senator for emboldening the enemy by calling last month’s U.S. raid in Yemen a failure. The nasty jousting between a Republican president and senator was both unusual and predictable.
The two have repeatedly clashed on personal terms. One of Trump’s first controversies was to mock McCain’s time as a prison of war, saying he liked people “who weren’t captured.”
The Hill reports,
McCain has repeatedly criticized Trump on foreign policy, knocking him for being too willing to give Russian President Vladimir Putin the doubt and criticizing his attacks on a Gold Star family during the presidential campaign. He was one of a number of Republicans who stayed away from the GOP convention.
At the same time, McCain has also played the part of dutiful Republican. He has voted for every Trump Cabinet pick, and he played down any animosity with Trump after the business mogul won the GOP presidential nomination.Trump is likely to need McCain’s help in advancing his agenda.
The 2008 GOP presidential candidate is the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and will play a huge role in Defense policy over the next two years.
McCain could foil Trump in policy areas such as torture and Ukraine through the annual defense authorization bill.
He’s warned Trump not to lift sanctions against Russia, which have been imposed over Moscow’s annexation of Crimea; its backing of separatists elsewhere in eastern Ukraine and its meddling in the U.S. election.
In that vein, McCain recently teamed up with five other senators from both parties on a bill that would require congressional oversight before Trump can lift the sanctions.
The fight between McCain and Trump this week was over the raid in Yemen, which left one Navy SEAL and a number of civilians dead.
The White House has insisted the operation was a success, with spokesman Sean Spicer saying anyone critical of it was doing a disservice to the fallen SEAL.
Hours later, McCain told NBC News that it’s fair to criticize a mission for failing and still hold respect for those who serve, noting his feelings about a failed mission to save him from a prisoner of war camp in Vietnam.
It all might have ended there, were it not for the president’s fondness for Twitter.
“Sen. McCain should not be talking about the success or failure of a mission to the media. Only emboldens the enemy! He’s been losing so long he doesn’t know how to win anymore,” Trump tweeted Thursday.
Continue reading at The Hill