Donald Trump has been physically mocking John McCain in private – to the fury of the disabled POW hero’s family, it emerged Wednesday.
Meghan McCain is sticking up for her father, as Axios reported Wednesday that President Trump has been physically mocking McCain after he again helped derail the GOP’s health care plans.
Trump has been reportedly imitating the thumbs down motion McCain made as he went to cast a no vote in July on the Republicans’ ‘skinny’ Obamacare repeal bill.
McCain famously can’t move his arms above his head due to his plane being shot down in Vietnam and then being held and tortured as a prisoner of war for more than five years.
‘What more must my family be put through right now?’ tweeted McCain’s daughter Meghan, most recently a Fox News host. ‘This is abhorrent,’ she said, reacting to the report.
He was also recently diagnosed with primary glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer and given a prognosis that’s ‘very poor,’ McCain told 60 Minutes this week.
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President Trump (left) is reportedly physically mocking Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. (right), behind closed doors as he vents his frustrations over the health care bill failure
Mocked: This is the thumbs down gesture by John McCain which ended the Republican repeal and replace attempt on the Senate floor in July which Trump is privately mocking
Sen. John McCain (pictured) is a Vietnam vet who famously can’t move his arms above his heads because of wartime injuries and being tortured. He’s also suffering from cancer
Sen. John McCain’s daughter Meghan, who most recently worked for Fox News Channel, called President Trump’s mocking of her father ‘abhorrent’
Health factors aside, Trump has again made McCain his primary punching bag within his own party, dedicating several tweets to the Arizona senator this week and berating him on a morning radio show.
‘You look at McCain, what McCain has done is a tremendous slap in the face to the Republican Party,’ Trump said on the Rick & Bubba radio show Monday, suggesting the McCain is ‘the reason’ nothing has passed.
Meghan McCain went after President Trump calling it ‘abhorrent’ that he would have physically mocked her dad, a former POW who has cancer
In the interview, President Trump also mentioned McCain’s thumbs down motion.
‘He was good to go all week long, all month long, and then all of the sudden he goes thumbs down,’ Trump scoffed. ‘You can call it what you want, but … that’s the only reason we don’t have it because of John McCain – nobody thought he was a negative vote.’
Of course it took more than one defection – three to be precise – for the Republicans to lose the vote count on any health care bill, as they tried to use the Senate’s reconciliation rules to get something through with only 51 votes.
That opportunity expires on Friday.
Yesterday, Senate Majority Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., decided that the Senate would not vote on the GOP’s latest piece of Obamacare repeal legislation, the Graham-Cassidy bill, because the votes were not there.
Axios reported that Trump is displeased with McConnell too and taken to physically mocking his ‘slumped shoulders’ and ‘lethargic body language.’
McConnell suffered from polio as a child.
In reality, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., had been the first objector, followed by McCain and then Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.
VIETNAM POW HERO’S WOUNDS WHICH CAN NEVER HEAL
John McCain was wounded, tortured and not helped to heal in Vietnam – an ordeal which has left him unable to raise his arms above his right shoulder.
His disability stemmed from the aftermath of his A-4E Skyhawk being shot down on a strike mission over central Hanoi in October 1967.
The impact of ejecting broke both his arms, with the right arm fractured in three places.
He came close to drowning because, unconscious, he landed in a lake, and when he struggled to the surface he was pulled ashore by a mob who kicked him. Then his left shoulder was crushed with a rifle butt.
Taken prisoner, he should have been attended to properly but instead his arms were not set properly.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is photographed in 1967 in Hanoi after being shot down and beaten by an angry mob, including being bayoneted in the groin
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. (right) is welcomed home by President Richard Nixon (left) in May 1973 after spending five and a half years as a prison of war in Vietnam
His ordeal got worse in August 1968 when he was tortured for turning down an offer to be released, which he refused because others were taken prisoner before him and not offered freedom.
He was bound into stress positions, beaten, and his left arm was broken again.
His spirit was crushed and close to suicide, he signed a bogus confession of ‘the deeds of an air pirate’. McCain was later to say that his spirit was broken but that the ‘confession’ had haunted him for the rest of his life.
Beatings continued into late 1969 and by the time of his release in 1973, although medical treatment had improved, he was left disabled for life.
A series of operations and months of therapy could not treat the worst of the effects, that he could not lift his arms properly.
Since then McCain has been unable to comb his hair and thanks to a broken leg, his gait makes it exhausting to climb stairs.
He was awarded the Purple Heart with star in acknowledgement of his wounds, as well as other medals for his service including the Gold Star and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
When he retired with the rank of captain he was awarded a disability pension for life.
Bill co-author Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., tried to remain upbeat, telling a crowd of Capitol Hill reporters that, ‘We’re coming back to this after taxes.’
‘We’re going to take this show on the road,’ Graham also said, suggesting he and Cassidy would travel and try to sell the bill’s contents to Americans, as the plan didn’t perform well, even among Republicans, in public opinion polls.
Trump adopted the same stance today, while also ribbing McCain.
‘With one Yes vote in hospital & very positive signs from Alaska and two others (McCain is out), we have the HCare Vote, but not for Friday!’ Trump said, possibly referencing Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss., who was recently treated for a urological issue.
He’s been at home in Mississippi, not at a hospital, recovering.
‘We will have the votes for Healthcare but not for the reconciliation deadline of Friday, after which we need 60. Get rid of Filibuster Rule!’ Trump also offered.
Trump’s behavior over his party’s most recent health care defeat is consistent in how he treated both McCain and the physically disabled during the presidential campaign.
As a GOP candidate, Trump said in July 2015 that McCain, a Naval aviator, was ‘not a war hero.’
‘He’s a war hero because he was captured,’ Trump said. ‘I like people who weren’t captured.’
Two months later, Trump got himself in hot water for doing an impression of a reporter onstage at a campaign rally who was disabled.
New York Times journalist Serge F Kovaleskiat has arthrogryposis, a congenital condition that gives him a locked right arm.
Trump curled up his right arm and flailed it while saying, ‘Now the poor guy, you ought to see this guy: “Ah, I don’t know what I said! I don’t remember!”‘