Arizona Senator John McCain is not afraid of President Donald Trump’s threats as their feud continues to escalate.
“I’ve faced far greater challenges than this,” McCain told reporters in response to Trump’s threat Tuesday.
Trump appeared on “The Chris Plante Show” Tuesday and threatened to “fight back” against McCain’s criticism.
“He was taking shots at you again yesterday,” Plante said. “You heard what he said yesterday, Sen. McCain?”
“Yeah, well I hear it. And people have to be careful because at some point I fight back,” Trump said. “I’m being very nice. I’m being very, very nice. But at some point I fight back, and it won’t be pretty.”
Trump was referring to McCain’s comments during a speech Monday in which he ripped Trump as “unpatriotic.”
McCain said that to “fear” a world that the country has led for nearly a century “abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe” and “refuse the obligations of international leadership … for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems” is unpatriotic.
“As unpatriotic,” he added, “as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.”
The feud between the senator and the president dates back to Trump’s time on the campaign trail where he asserted that McCain was not really a “war hero.”
“He is not a war hero,” Trump told pollster Frank Luntz during a Q&A in 2015.
“He is a war hero,” Luntz pointed out.
“He is a war hero because he was captured,” Trump interrupted. “I like people that weren’t captured, OK? I hate to tell you. He is a war hero because he was captured.”
McCain agreed to back Trump’s candidacy after he won the Republican nomination but pulled his support after the “Access Hollywood” tape showing Trump boasting about sexually assaulting women was released.
More recently, Trump name-dropped McCain at a news conference after the senator cast the deciding vote to kill one of the Obamacare repeal proposals in the Senate.
“Sen. McCain, you mean the one who voted against Obamacare?” Trump asked at a press conference in August. “You mean Sen. McCain who voted against us getting good health care?”
While the president threatened McCain, the previous administration went out of their way to praise the war hero who has served in Congress since 1982.
“John, you have broken many times, physically and otherwise, and you have always grown stronger, but what you don’t really understand in my humble opinion is how much courage you give the rest of us looking at you,” former Vice President Joe Biden said as he awarded McCain the Liberty Medal at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia Monday.
“I’m grateful to @SenJohnMcCain for his lifetime of service to our country,” President Obama tweeted. “Congratulations, John, on receiving this year’s Liberty Medal.”
I'm grateful to @SenJohnMcCain for his lifetime of service to our country. Congratulations, John, on receiving this year's Liberty Medal.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 16, 2017
“I’ve been blessed to spend my life serving something more important than myself, of being a bit player in the story of America,” McCain tweeted after the ceremony Monday.
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) October 17, 2017