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Andrew Harnik, Mindaugas Kulbis / AP

Donald Trump used John McCain as a punching bag while a presidential candidate, starting with his "I like people who weren't captured" comment about POWs. That never let up during the campaign, even as McCain rallied around Trump as the GOP nominee.

But after Election Day, McCain began letting Trump have it...

  1. November 19: "I don't give a damn what the president of the United States wants to do. We will not waterboard ... We will not torture people … It doesn't work."
  2. November 29: "Do not ask me about Donald Trump. I do not want to be rude to anyone, but I do not want to be asked about Donald Trump."
  3. December 10: "You want to give the president of the United States the benefit of the doubt because the people have spoken. But Vladimir Putin is a thug, a bully and a murderer, and anybody else who describes him as anything else is lying."
  4. December 11, to Trump on Russian hacking: "The facts are there."
  5. January 25, on Trump's voter fraud claims: "Look, there's no evidence of that and I think that those who allege that have to come up with some substantiation of the claim."
  6. January 26, on Trump's NAFTA statements: "Facts are stubborn things, and the facts clearly show that NAFTA has delivered enormous economic benefits to the citizens of my home state since it went into effect in 1994."
  7. January 29, on Trump's travel ban: "It is clear from the confusion at our airports across the nation that President Trump's executive order was not properly vetted... Such a hasty process risks harmful results... Ultimately, we fear this executive order will become a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism."
  8. February 8, on Trump's Yemen raid: "When you lose a $75 million airplane and, more importantly, an American life is lost … I don't believe you can call it a success."
  9. February 15 on Trump's national security handling: "Dysfunctional."
  10. February 17, in a not-so-subtle reference in Germany: "The next panel asks us to consider whether the West will survive. In recent years, this question would invite accusations of hyperbole and alarmism. Not this year. If ever there were a time to treat this question with a deadly seriousness, it is now."
  11. February 18, on going after the media: "I'm not saying that President Trump is trying to be a dictator. I'm just saying we need to learn the lessons of history."

Go deeper

5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

McConnell drops filibuster demand, paving way for power-sharing deal

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attend a joint session of Congress. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has abandoned his demand that Democrats state, in writing, that they would not abandon the legislative filibuster.

Between the lines: McConnell was never going to agree to a 50-50 power sharing deal without putting up a fight over keeping the 60-vote threshold. But the minority leader ultimately caved after it became clear that delaying the organizing resolution was no longer feasible.

6 hours ago - Technology

Scoop: Google won't donate to members of Congress who voted against election results

Sen. Ted Cruz led the group of Republicans who opposed certifying the results. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Google will not make contributions from its political action committee this cycle to any member of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the presidential election, following the deadly Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Several major businesses paused or pulled political donations following the events of Jan. 6, when pro-Trump rioters, riled up by former President Trump, stormed the Capitol on the day it was to certify the election results.

7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Minority Mitch still setting Senate agenda

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Chuck Schumer may be majority leader, yet in many ways, Mitch McConnell is still running the Senate show — and his counterpart is about done with it.

Why it matters: McConnell rolled over Democrats unapologetically, and kept tight control over his fellow Republicans, while in the majority. But he's showing equal skill as minority leader, using political jiujitsu to convert a perceived weakness into strength.

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