On Monday, Donald Trump signed a $717 billion defense bill that was named for John McCain at a ceremony in Fort Drum, New York, but he, of course, failed to mention the Senator, who is suffering from brain cancer and has been a frequent target of the former reality show star.
Trump took credit for the overly generous defense bill without mentioning McCain (R-Ariz.), a former GOP presidential nominee, Vietnam War hero, and POW. It was just a few years ago that Trump, who avoided serving in the military because his feet hurt, disparaged McCain, saying, “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”
McCain wasn’t just captured, though. While imprisoned, he refused to be repatriated ahead of American prisoners who had been in captivity longer than he was. Following that, his guard reportedly told him, “Now, McCain, it will be very bad for you.” And for that, McCain was tortured over his defiance and ended up spending well over two years in solitary confinement. McCain could have avoided being tortured and remaining in solitary confinement, but his loyalty wouldn’t allow him to.
The bill is formally named the “John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2019” but Trump, who has a penchant for punishing his critics, failed to mention the Senator’s name.
“Every day, the Army is fighting for us, and now we’re fighting for you,” Trump said, speaking at a hangar in front of members of the 10th Mountain Division in camouflage uniforms.
“America is a peaceful nation but if conflict is forced upon us, we will fight and we will win,” Trump said. “You better believe it, generals.”
Trump goes to Fort Drum to sign a defense bill named for John McCain and then refuses to actually NAME John McCain. Not even once. Not a thank you, not a reference, nothing. Instead, he calls it the National Defense Authorization Act to avoid giving McCain any credit. pic.twitter.com/PHYnUkOQrt
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) August 13, 2018
Former senator John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), a Vietnam veteran and former secretary of State, responded to Trump’s snub on Twitter, calling it “disgraceful.”
Disgraceful – but nothing will erase for an instant the legacy John McCain has written and is still writing every day. https://t.co/hv40tsnqo3
— John Kerry (@JohnKerry) August 13, 2018
For his part, McCain refused to address the snub, and in a statement, he said that he was humbled that the bill was named for him.
“I’m humbled that my colleagues in Congress chose to designate this bill in my name,” he said. “Serving as Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and working on behalf of America’s brave service members has been one of the greatest honors of my life. I’m proud that throughout my tenure, the committee has led with a spirit of comity and cooperation to provide for America’s Armed Forces.”
And this happened just days after it was reported that the Trump administration plans to suspend routine examinations of lenders for violations of the Military Lending Act, which was created in order to protect military service members and their families from financial fraud, predatory loans, and credit card gouging.
Featured image via screen capture