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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."

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."

Go deeper

Jul 1, 2020 - Science

Trump vs. Biden: Senility becomes 2020 flashpoint

Photos: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Senility is becoming an overt line of attack for the first time in a modern U.S. presidential campaign.

Why it matters: As Americans live longer and work later into life and there's more awareness about the science of aging, we're also seeing politicians test the boundaries of electability. Biden is 77; Trump, now 74, already is the oldest person to assume the U.S. presidency.

Updated Dec 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The top Republicans who have acknowledged Biden as president-elect

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Some elected Republicans are breaking ranks with President Trump to acknowledge that President-elect Biden won the 2020 presidential election.

Why it matters: The relative sparsity of acknowledgements highlights Trump's lasting power in the GOP, as his campaign moves to file multiple lawsuits alleging voter fraud in key swing states — despite the fact that there have been no credible allegations of any widespread fraud anywhere in the U.S.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations before leaving office

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump plans to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday, sources familiar with the matter told Axios.

Why it matters: This is a continuation of the president's controversial December spree that saw full pardons granted to more than two dozen people — including former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, longtime associate Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, the father of Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

  • The pardons set to be issued before Trump exits the White House will be a mix of criminal justice ones and pardons for people connected to the president, the sources said.
  • CNN first reported this news.

Go deeper: Convicts turn to D.C. fixers for Trump pardons