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Donald Trump Just Reacted to the Backlash Against How He Initially Handled John McCain's Death, and It's Classic Trump

Donald Trump Just Reacted to the Backlash Against How He Initially Handled John McCain's Death, and It's Classic Trump
Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images // Win McNamee/Getty Images

Hardly surprising.

President Donald Trump defended his response to the death of Senator John McCain Thursday during a four-hour interview with Bloomberg News Editor in Chief John Micklethwait and reporters Jennifer Jacobs and Margaret the Oval Office.

Bloomberg asked the president if he had any regrets over how he handled McCain's death.

"Mr. President, as you know, of course John McCain’s remains are on -- on -- on their way back to Washington now. You had an opportunity to unite the country this week," Bloomberg asked. I’m just wondering if you felt like you screwed it up?"

Trump refused to acknowledge the mere possibility he had done anything wrong.

"No, I don’t think I did at all. I -- I’ve -- I’ve done everything that they requested, and no, I don’t think I have at all," Trump replied. The president added that he and McCain had "very strong disagreements" and that he "disagreed with many of the things that I assume he [McCain] believed in."

Trump said that despite the differences he had with McCain, "I respect his service to the country."

After McCain passed away on Saturday, Trump bungled what would normally be routine honorary procedures following the passing of someone of McCain's stature.

In the hours after McCain's death, Trump ordered flags to return to full staff, which drew the ire of veterans groups and sparked a massive public outcry. Trump eventually ordered the flags down to half-mast on Monday.

Bloomberg also pushed Trump to opine on if McCain would have made a better president than Barack Obama.

"I don’t want to comment on it," Trump quipped. "I have a very strong opinion on it."

Trump and Bloomberg bantered back and forth after Bloomberg said they "would love to know" Trump's thoughts.

TRUMP: I have a very strong...


BLOOMBERG: That’s not -- that’s not a terrible question, that...

Trump shifted the conversation by boasting that White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was "having a nervous breakdown" as she watched her boss dodge the question.

The look on Sanders' face said it all.

TRUMP: I have a very strong -- Sarah, she’s just having a nervous breakdown.


Trump said he may share his opinion on McCain vs. Obama "someday later."

TRUMP: I have a very strong opinion on it.

BLOOMBERG: But you want to -- you want to keep that to yourself.

TRUMP: Maybe I’ll give you that answer someday later. Yes. But I have a very strong opinion on that.

In a letter to the public published after his death, McCain said losing the 2008 presidential election to Obama was a "privilege."

On Monday, Trump ignored reporters who asked him to comment on McCain's passing, which he recognized on Saturday in a brief, vague tweet to the six-term Senator's family:

McCain made it known before he died that he didn't want Trump to attend his funeral.

Social media was not the least bit surprised by Trump's refusal to answer simple questions.

Trump is "incapable of understanding why" many in the United States are mourning McCain.

The prevailing sentiment was that Trump did unite the country after McCain's death, but "in a different way," meaning against himself.

Then again, uniting Americans isn't Trump's strong suit.

Neither is empathy.

Nor does he have the willingness to admit when he was wrong.

Oh, Trump and McCain had disagreements, alright.

Trump missed another opportunity to do the right thing.


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