GOP Senator Mitt Romney responded on Tuesday to President Donald Trump’s recent criticism of late Senator John McCain, saying he didn’t understand why Trump continues to do so.
“I can’t understand why the President would, once again, disparage a man as exemplary as my friend John McCain: heroic, courageous, patriotic, honorable, self-effacing, self-sacrificing, empathetic, and driven by duty to family, country, and God,” the senator wrote on Twitter.
Trump had a rocky relationship with McCain, who was a fervent critic of the President. He frequently blasted the late senator for being a prisoner of war as well as for voting against the Republican health care bill in 2017.
However, the attacks on McCain seemed to intensify this week, with Trump calling the senator “last in his class” and accusing him of “colluding” with Democrats. His comments drew the ire of McCain’s family as well as that of numerous lawmakers, but that didn’t seem to stop the President, who later said he was never “a fan of John McCain, and I never will be.”
During his Oval Office meeting with Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, Trump once again took the opportunity to criticize the late senator for not voting in favor of repealing Obamacare. “I think that’s disgraceful,” Trump said, according to the Hill.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said the President’s remarks were “outrageous” and “awful” and called McCain a “hero.”
Although fierce competitors during the 2008 Republican presidential primary, Romney and McCain had a close relationship and supported each other’s bids for the Senate. Romney is also seen as someone who could help fill the void among Senate Republicans left by McCain’s death.