Trump, who skirted military duty with a “bone spur,” says McCain “emboldens the enemy”

If it was unclear before if John McCain was going to be a major thorn in the side of Donald Trump, that was cleared up this morning when Trump tweeted that McCain “emboldens the enemy.”

This all goes back to the fated Yemen anti-terrorism mission of a few weeks ago, in which two Americans were killed — Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens and a young American girl — along with many others.

It’s questionable to what degree the raid was a success. As the NYT put it, “almost everything that could go wrong did.” (It’s an excellent NYT piece, that walks you through a lot of the criticism of the raid.)

Not only were there American deaths, but also some of the highest-profile intelligence that the raid obtained wasn’t even real. In an attempt to prove how successful the raid was, the Trump administration published a ten-year-old terrorist training video and tried to pass it off as “new” intelligence found at the scene of the raid.

Once criticism of the raid started mounting, the Trump White House then tried to claim that this was really a raid planned by the Obama administration. We then found out that in fact, the Obama administration refused to approve the raid.

That didn’t stop Trump and company from claiming that the raid was a wild success, and anyone saying otherwise was un-American. Which is pretty cheeky from a White House that thinks America has no better morals than Putin’s Russia.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer weighs in. From the Hill:

“The life of Chief Ryan Owens was done in service to his country and we owe him and his family a great debt for the information we received during that raid,” Spicer said. “Any suggestion otherwise is a disservice to his courageous life and the actions he took. Full stop.”

McCain then responded:

“Many years ago, when I was imprisoned in North Vietnam, there was an attempt to rescue the POWs,” McCain said. “Unfortunately, the prison had been evacuated, but the brave men who took — risked their lives in an effort to rescue us prisoners of war were genuine American heroes.

“Because the mission failed did not in any way diminish their courage and willingness to help their fellow Americans who were help captive. Mr. Spicer should know that story.”

And none of this has stopped Donald Trump from criticizing our intervention in Iraq. Was that criticism a disservice to the thousands of American service members who died in that war?

Of course, incapable of letting sleeping dogs lie, Trump himself had to weigh in this morning on Twitter. Read from the bottom up:

Trump was eligible for the draft during Vietnam, but didn’t get drafted first because of an education deferment, then because Trump alleged he had “bone spurs” in his heels.

John McCain had no such “bone spurs.”

What’s particularly interesting about Trump’s remarks is just how politically stupid they are. McCain is the chairman of the US Senate Armed Services Committee, a highly influential position. He’s someone the Trump administration needs on their side. Trump’s ongoing attacks on McCain during the campaign — and now attacking McCain’s patriotism! –pretty much ensure that McCain isn’t going to be doing Trump any favors in the years ahead.

And at some point, when Trump’s poll numbers start to hurt Congress’ own re-election chances, Trump is going to need all the friends he can get.

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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  • ORAXX

    Trump is a fire breathing chicken-hawk who ran like a rabbit when he had his opportunity to serve. It is only a matter of time before Boss Tweet tries to demonstrate his machismo with the blood of other people’s children.

  • venus markov
  • Opinionated Cat Lover

    He’s had plenty of opportunities to stop Trump in his tracks.

    Off the top of my head, Sessions and Devos. Both of which McCain voted for. Neither of which did he take a stand and say “No” to.

    So yes. I agree with you. Ain’t buyin’ that McCain is going to stand up to Trump.

  • ComradeRutherford

    Notice how it was hardly mentioned in the media and has disappeared already. The media are still controlled by the GOP and they’ve obviously been ordered to ignore it. If this level of failure happened under a Democratic President, it would still be headline news, and the GOP would have started impeachment hearings.

  • ComradeRutherford

    As usual, for everything a Conservative says the opposite is true. The only American endangering America is Trump.

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  • basenjilover

    McCain isn’t going to do squat about trump, more blah, blah, blahs. All that McCain’s feign outrages are getting old.

  • Jimmy

    I’m no great fan of John MCain. A self-styled maverick who has done little to nothing to push back on Trump’s crappy cabinet choices and will likely let Gorsuch sail through his nomnation. All that being said, no one can deny McCain has suffered much in service to his country. I may disgaree with him on many things, but I have no problem acknowledging how he bravely endured torture and survived to tell the story. These attacks on McCain will be play to Trump’s alt-right base, but they won’t play for long with the other people who voted him into office.

  • Badgerite

    They are kidding. Iran has already used the picture of the dead civilians, women and children as evidence that the US is indeed the Great Satan to the Islamic world.
    This was a sucker raid. There was no intelligence and it is a good bet that the terrorist they were there to “capture or kill” was not there as well. They got conned by the terrorists. That is not “winning”. That is LOSING. And I, for one, am already bored with it.

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