The late Sen. John McCain's widow and daughter have found themselves the targets of disturbing tweets following President Donald Trump's recent disparaging comments about the former decorated Navy POW.
Early Wednesday, Cindy McCain posted a screenshot on Twitter of a message she received from a woman calling her late husband a "warmongering piece of sh--," and using a four-letter obscenity to refer to her daughter, Meghan McCain.
Cindy McCain said she was posting the note so the woman's "friends and family could see. I want to make sure all of you could see how kind and loving a stranger can be."
On ABC's "The View" Wednesday, Meghan McCain said that her father would have laughed at Trump's latest attacks on his character and reputation.
"I think if I had told my dad, 'Seven months after you're dead you're going to be dominating the news and all over Twitter,' he would think it's hilarious that our president was so jealous of him that he was dominating the news cycle in death as well," McCain said.
She added, "This is a new bizarre low. I will say attacking someone who isn't here is a bizarre low. My dad's not here, but I'm sure as hell here."
In a series of tweets, and during a joint appearance at the White House Tuesday with President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro, Trump renewed a feud with McCain and his legacy that began during the presidential campaign, when Trump disparaged McCain's war service.
"He's not a war hero. He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured," Trump said in July 2015 at a Family Leadership Summit for conservative activists in Iowa.
McCain died of brain cancer in August 2018. At his direction, Trump was not invited to the funeral at Washington National Cathedral, at which former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush delivered eulogies. The president's daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her husband, Jared Kushner, attended.
In his latest criticisms, Trump called McCain's vote against repealing and replacing Obamacare "disgraceful." At the White House Tuesday, Trump said "I was never a fan of John McCain and never will be."
In a series of tweets over the weekend, Trump said "So it was indeed (just proven in court papers) 'last in his class' (Annapolis) John McCain that sent the Fake Dossier to the FBI and Media hoping to have it printed BEFORE the Election," Trump tweeted on Sunday. "He & the Dems, working together, failed (as usual). Even the Fake News refused this garbage."
McCain often joked about being fifth from last in his class at the U.S. Naval Academy. McCain also maintained that he turned over the dossier from former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele to the FBI, but only after the November 2016 election, and he denied being the source of the leak of the dossier to BuzzFeed.
Republicans have mainly steered clear of the renewal of the Trump-McCain feud, but Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Georgia, chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, told the conservative outlet "The Bulwark" Wednesday that Trump's criticism "drives me crazy."
"The country deserves better, the McCain family deserves better, I don't care if he's president of United States, owns all the real estate in New York, or is building the greatest immigration system in the world," Isakson said. "Nothing is more important than the integrity of the country and those who fought and risked their lives for all of us."
Isakson renewed his criticism of Trump in an afternoon interview on Georgia Public Radio.
"It's deplorable what he said," Isakson said of Trump.
Isakson said he was particularly concerned about the remarks as committee chairman and "one who remembers the Vietnam war and [how] the country got torn up" in the aftermath.
"We can talk about the politics of the military any way we want to, but we don't talk about our veterans in any way but to brag on them for the service they rendered, the job that they do," Isakson said.
Other Republican senators followed suit Wednesday, but did not directly criticize Trump. Instead, they praised McCain.
In a tweet, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said he misses McCain "today and every day."
"It was a blessing to serve alongside a rare patriot and genuine American hero in the Senate," McConnell said.
Sen. Martha McSally, R-Arizona, who now holds McCain's Senate seat, said in a tweet that "John McCain is an American hero and I am thankful for his life of service and legacy to our country and Arizona."
"Everyone should give him and his family the respect, admiration, and peace they deserve," McSally said.
Trump later showed no signs of letting the McCain dispute fade away. At a rally at a tank plant in Lima, Ohio, Trump said that McCain as senator let veterans down, although he did not give specifics.
McCain "didn't get the job done for our great vets in the VA," Trump said, renewing his criticism of the senator's healthcare vote.
"I have to be honest, I never liked him much and I probably never will," Trump added.
He also suggested that the McCain family was ungrateful for his permission to have the funeral in Washington.
"I gave him the kind of funeral he wanted, which, as president, I had to approve, and I didn't get a thank-you," Trump said.
-- Richard Sisk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.