Feb 19, 2017

McCain gets revenge on Trump

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

Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

6 hours ago - World

The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.