President Trump said at a press conference on Friday that he "never got along with John McCain" and "disagreed" with the late senator on a number of policies, but still "respected him."
The state of play: Trump was asked if he regrets calling McCain — who was tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam — a "loser" in 2015. Trump did not respond as to whether he regrets the statement.
The big picture: The reporter's question follows a Thursday report in The Atlantic, sourced anonymously, that describes instances in which Trump "repeatedly disparaged the intelligence of service members."
- Trump, the White House and the president's re-election campaign have pushed back on the article.
- The Atlantic's report has been confirmed by the AP and Fox News reporters.
What he's saying: "I say what I say," Trump responded. "I never got along with John McCain. I wasn't a fan. I disagreed with many of his views."
- "That doesn't mean I don't respect him. I respected him, but I really disagreed with him on a lot of things. And I think I was right, and I think time has proven me right."
Trump again denied The Atlantic's reporting at Friday's press briefing, calling the magazine "second-rate."
- "We have all of the information and probably will release that information. But I think it is a shame when a second-rate magazine ... I don't read it ... can write things like that about somebody that has done so much for the military ... and get away with it..."
Flashback: This is not the first time that Trump has publicly said he "was never a fan of John McCain."