Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) said Monday that real-estate developer Donald Trump should apologise for controversial weekend comments — but not to him.
“I think he may owe an apology to the families of those who have sacrificed in conflict and those who have undergone the prison experience in serving our country,” McCain said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
McCain was responding to Trump, a GOP presidential candidate, panning his war record over the weekend. Trump ignited a media firestorm by claiming McCain was only a war hero because he was captured during the Vietnam War.
“He’s not a war hero,” Trump said Saturday while speaking at a forum in Iowa. “He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured, OK? I hate to tell you. … I believe, perhaps, he’s a war hero.”
Almost every Republican running for president quickly condemned Trump’s remarks and praised McCain as a true war hero. But McCain, whose plane was shot down over Vietnam and who was held prisoner for more than five years, said the real heroes were some of his commanding officers.
“In the case of many of our veterans, when Mr. Trump said that he prefers to be with people who are not captured, well, the great honour of my life was to serve in the company of heroes. I’m not a hero,” McCain said. “But those who were my senior ranking officers … those that have inspired us to do things that we otherwise wouldn’t have been capable of doing, those are the people that I think he owes an apology to.”
Trump repeatedly refused to apologise and argued Sunday that McCain began their feud by dismissing his supporters as “crazies.”
“A week ago, I had thousands of people in Phoenix, Arizona, talking about the whole horrible situation with illegal immigration,” Trump said on Fox News. “We had thousands and thousands of people. And he called them ‘crazies.’ He insulted them. He should apologise to them, by the way. He insulted them, and then I insulted back.”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.