Trump puts foot in it with swipe at war hero McCain
DONALD Trump, known for his incendiary rhetoric on the 2016 campaign trail, lobbed his latest verbal grenade on Saturday, dismissing the military record of Senator John McCain, a former prisoner of war.
The flamboyant billionaire businessman, reality TV star and Republican presidential contender said Senator McCain – a decorated aviator who was tortured in a North Vietnamese prison camp for five years – did not deserve hero status for his war service.
“He’s not a war hero,” Mr Trump told a gathering of social conservative activists in the Midwestern state of Iowa. “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured, OK?”
The 69- year- old business tycoon has never served in the US military. He went on to assert that Senator McCain “graduated last in his class” at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis in the late 1950s.
Senator McCain, 78, the 2008 Republican presidential candidate against Democratic rival Barack Obama, was captured during a bombing raid over Vietnam in October 1967.
He did not personally react to Mr Trump’s comments, but his daughter, 30- year- old broadcaster Meghan McCain, expressed outrage.
“I can’t believe what I am reading this morning. Horrified. Disgusted. There are no words,” she wrote on her Twitter account. “I have a brother that just returned from Afghanistan a month ago.”
Mr Trump’s remarks triggered immediate political uproar, as other top Republicans defended Senator McCain’s military record – and in the process tried to cash in on their rival’s faux- pas.
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