WASHINGTON – Meghan McCain blasted President Donald Trump on Thursday for his ongoing criticism of her father, the late Sen. John McCain, and said reports that the administration hid a Navy ship bearing McCain's name sent a "horrific" message.
"It’s impossible to go through the grief process when my father, who’s been dead for 10 months, is constantly in the news cycle because the president is so obsessed with the fact that he’s never going to be a great man like he was,” McCain said on ABC's The View.
Trump said Thursday that "well meaning" aides tried to shield him from view of a Navy battleship named for McCain during a recent visit to Japan, but said he had nothing to do with the effort. The Wall Street Journal reported officials wanted the USS John S. McCain, a warship named for the late Arizona Republican, to be kept "out of sight" during Trump's visit.
What's driving feud with McCain? Trump has criticized the late senator's war record and vote against Obamacare revamp
"The president’s actions have consequences, and when you repeatedly are attacking my father, a war hero, it creates a culture in the military where people are fearful to show my father’s name in one way or another, and that’s what I think has started this chain of events and actions,” McCain said.
“They’re putting people in the military in horrific situations because they’re fearful of their jobs, if, God forbid you’re a sailor on this ship, you think there’s going to be some kind of retribution and I think it’s horrible," McCain added. "I think it’s bad for Americans, and you really have to look at the kind of culture that’s being put in place. I don’t blame the people in the military. I have nothing but respect for the people who serve.”
The animosity between Trump and McCain dates back decades, but it exploded into public view when the senator joined other Republicans in voting against a last-ditch effort in 2017 to repeal Obamacare. The president frequently slammed McCain for the vote in rallies across the country, a criticism that continued even after McCain died of brain cancer last year.
Trump drew fire from veterans groups and others for raising the U.S. flag at the White House last summer two days after it had been lowered in honor of McCain. Trump created a firestorm in March when he said he never received a "thank you" from the McCain family for giving “him the kind of funeral that he wanted.” Trump did not approve McCain’s funeral and did not attend the service at the family's request.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Meghan McCain calls out Trump on warship controversy, says troops 'afraid' to show her father's name