While Senator John McCain didn’t mention President Trump by name during his acceptance speech after receiving the Liberty Medal, it was clear who he meant when he criticized “half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems.” Naturally, it didn’t take long for President Trump to respond after realizing he was the target of said criticism.
President Trump appeared on a Washington, D.C. talk radio station WMAL Tuesday and was asked by host Chris Plante about McCain’s speech. “People have to be careful because at some point I fight back,” Trump said. “You know, I’m being very nice. I’m being very, very nice. But at some point I fight back and it won’t be pretty.”
In turn, McCain was asked about Trump’s radio appearance Tuesday and offered a simple response. “I have faced tougher adversaries,” said the Senator, who’s fighting brain cancer and has fought numerous political opponents throughout his career — after his years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam.
Over the past day, McCain’s former political rivals had very different things to say about McCain than the sitting president did.
The back-and-forth is the latest in the ongoing war of words between McCain and Trump, which stretches back to the election when Trump denigrated the senator for being captured during the Vietnam War and becoming a prisoner of war. Trump’s attacks on McCain have continued since McCain was a “no” vote during various attempts by Republicans in the Senate to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.