Trump escalates attacks on John McCain, says never got a 'thank you' for late senator's funeral

CLOSE

According to a new USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll, Americans’ trust in Robert Mueller’s investigation is decreasing.
USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – Undeterred by Republican criticism, President Donald Trump delivered an extended attack Wednesday on the late Sen. John McCain about disputes ranging from health care to foreign policy.

“I have to be honest, I never liked him much,” Trump said during a speech at a military tank plant in Lima, Ohio, that was ostensibly focused on the economy. “I probably never will.”

The crowd, which included members of the military, remained largely silent during the remarks from Trump, who has criticized the Arizona Republican senator throughout the week.

“I endorsed him at his request and I gave him the kind of funeral that he wanted, which as president I had to approve,” Trump said. “I don’t care about this, I didn’t get a ‘thank you’. That’s OK.”  

Trump, who began by hitting McCain on Sunday over his handling of a Russian dossier, said he spoke about the Arizona senator again because the news media keep asking him about it.

“Not my kind of guy,” Trump said, “But some people like him, and I think that’s great.”

Before Trump’s latest riff, Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., criticized Trump for scorning McCain some seven months after the death of the senator the Republicans nominated for president in 2008. McCain died in August after battling brain cancer.

“It’s deplorable what he said, it will be deplorable if he says it again,” Isakson told the Georgia Public Radio program “Political Rewind.”

Trump is making the first of two trips this month to Midwestern battleground states, Trump spent most of his address touting the nation’s economy and low unemployment. He is expected to speak at a fundraiser in Ohio later Wednesday. 

As Trump talks up success in some quarters of the economy, he is likely to face questions about the iconic General Motors plant in Lordstown, Ohio, which the automaker announced last fall would close this month. Trump launched a Twitter feud with GM this week, calling on the company to reopen the facility. 

Trump tailored much of his 2016 message to blue-collar manufacturers workers in the Rust Belt, helping him to flip states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin from blue to red. Though there have been some gains in manufacturing in his first term, Trump also has faced a number of high-profile setbacks such as Lordstown.

U.S. manufacturing jobs have been steadily increasing since 2010 but are still well below the peak reached in the 1970s. There were 12.8 million U.S. manufacturing jobs in February, according to Department of Labor data, up from 11.4 million in 2010. There were more than 19.5 million manufacturing jobs in 1979.

Ohio bound: Trump drops into Ohio amid feud over iconic GM plant in Lordstown

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

 

 

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/03/20/donald-trump-says-china-tariffs-may-remain-substantial-period/3206425002/