The ongoing divide between President Trump and Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is continuing to develop as the latter takes another shot at the former.
According to The Daily Caller, Sen. McCain attacked the President over his Vietnam draft deferments, one of which was due to a medical issue. “One aspect of the conflict, by the way, that I will never, ever countenance is that we drafted the lowest income level of America and the highest level would get a doctor to say they had a bone spur,” he said in an interview that aired on C-Span 3 on Sunday.
President Trump received five deferments from the draft during the Vietnam War. Although four of those were granted because he was in college at the time, the last deferment was because he was diagnosed with a bone spur in the heel of his foot.
Just prior to being elected to office, Mr. Trump told The New York Times, “I had a doctor that gave me a letter – a very strong letter on the heels,” adding that although it was a temporary problem, it was “a big enough problem.”
“That is wrong. That is wrong. If we are going to ask every American to serve, every American should serve,” Senator McCain added. In contrast, the Senator flew nearly two dozen missions during the Vietnam War as a naval aviator. His last mission in Oct. 1967 ended when he was shot down over Hanoi and held as a prisoner of war until 1973.
This wasn’t the first time that the two sparred over the issue of their involvement in the conflict. When Mr. Trump first announced his intention to run in the Republican Primary in 2015, he criticized Sen. McCain and said that he didn’t feel McCain was a war hero.
“He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Iowa. Having not taken back the remark, many feel that this feud between the two has transferred into the administration.
Senator McCain was one of the few Republicans who voted against President Trump’s proposal to repeal and replace Obamacare, a move that was strongly condemned by both the President as well as members of the Republican Party.
In a recent speech he gave during a medal reception ceremony, Mr. McCain had alluded to the President and his supporters again. “To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain ‘the last best hope of earth’ for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history,” McCain remarked, as reported by Newsmax.
President Trump responded to Senator McCain’s speech comments the next day, in which he stated in a radio interview that “people have to be careful because at some point I fight back. I’m being very nice. I’m being very, very nice. But at some point, I fight back, and it won’t be pretty.”
Sen. McCain implied that President Trump had a bogus reason for avoiding the draft during the Vietnam War. Should Sen. McCain apologize for his rude behavior?
Senator McCain was also one of the only Republicans to jump on the story that Mr. Trump told the late Sgt. La David Johnson’s widow that “he knew what he signed up for,” an account that the President has disputed.
Few Americans can say what benefit there is to this infighting between Republicans, as the public chose Mr. Trump to be president of this country, not the Senator.