It’s no secret that U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is one of President Trump’s fiercest Republican critics, but his relentless attacks on the administration are beginning to aggravate working-class Americans.
The feud between McCain and Trump escalated in the summer of 2015, during the early stages of the Republican primaries, when Trump said the senator was “not a war hero.” Since then, McCain has publicly denounced Trump, his administration and his decisions on numerous occasions.
Here are nine instances when McCain attempted to derail Trump’s presidency:
1. The ‘Access Hollywood’ tape
Joining a chorus of other establishment Republicans, McCain withdrew his support of Donald Trump a month before the November election after NBC leaked a tape of Trump making lewd comments about women.
“There are no excuses for Donald Trump’s offensive and demeaning comments in the just released video; no woman should ever be victimized by this kind of inappropriate behavior,” McCain said in a statement last October. “He alone bears the burden of his conduct and alone should suffer the consequences.”
“Donald Trump’s behavior this week, concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy,” McCain added.
McCain’s spurning of the GOP nominee came months after Trump publicly endorsed the senator’s re-election bid.
2. The anti-Trump dossier
After the anti-Trump dossier was published by BuzzFeed–and covered by CNN–in early January, McCain released a statement to admit that he was the one responsible for passing the unverified report on to the FBI.
“Upon examination of the contents, and unable to make a judgment about their accuracy, I delivered the information to the Director of the FBI. That has been the extent of my contact with the FBI or any other government agency regarding this issue,” McCain wrote.
Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein, who contributed to a story about the dossier reported by CNN, said McCain was given the document by a former British ambassador to Moscow.
“It came from a former British MI6 agent who was hired from a political opposition research firm in Washington who was doing work about Donald Trump for both republican and democratic candidates opposed to Trump,” Bernstein said.
3. The Yemen raid
The first military strike carried out under President Donald Trump was an operation targeting an al Qaeda encampment in south-central Yemen.
On February 7, following a classified briefing on the operation, McCain clashed with the White House by criticizing the mission and describing it as a “failure.”
In a statement the next day, McCain avoided using the word failure. Instead, he carefully parsed his words to say that he would not call the mission a success.
“Every military operation has objectives. And while many of the objectives of the recent raid in Yemen were met, I would not describe any operation that results in the loss of American life as a success,” the statement read. “Going forward, I am confident that our military will act on lessons learned from this operation to strengthen our fight against our terrorist enemies.”
President Trump defended the Yemen raid, calling it a “winning mission.” He also lashed out at McCain on Twitter.
4. ‘This administration is in disarray’
In February, McCain told a crowd of attendees at the Munich Security Conference that the resignation of Michael Flynn proved that President Trump’s administration was in “disarray.”
“I think that the Flynn issue obviously is something that shows that in many respects this administration is in disarray and they’ve got a lot of work to do,” McCain said.
The Washington Post reported that McCain “went after Trump — hard,” and noted that his speech “was a striking display from a senior leader of a party when it comes to a president of the same party.”
5. ‘How dictators get started’
Less than one month into Donald Trump’s presidency, McCain was already throwing around the “D-word.”
On February 17, President Trump tweeted that the “fake news media” was not his enemy; instead, he declared it the “enemy of the American people.”
The next day, McCain blasted the president’s remarks, saying that intimidating and suppressing the news media is “how dictators get started.”
“We need a free press,” McCain told NBC’s Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press.”
“We must have it. It’s vital. If you want to preserve – I’m very serious now – if you want to preserve democracy as we know it, you have to have a free and many times adversarial press. And without it, I am afraid that we would lose so much of our individual liberties over time. That’s how dictators get started.”
While McCain did clarify that he wasn’t saying that Trump specifically was trying to be a dictator, his remarks could have easily been interpreted differently by viewers.
6. Trump ‘partially to blame’ for Syrian chemical attack
McCain’s most inexcusable attack of President Trump came in early April.
In an interview, McCain told CBS “Face the Nation” host John Dickerson that he believes the Trump administration was “partially to blame” for encouraging the Syrian regime to carry out chemical weapon attacks on its citizens.
McCain was reacting to remarks that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made at the end of March, in which Tillerson said the Syrian people would determine Assad’s fate and that removing him from power wasn’t one of the administration’s top priorities.
McCain’s comments came on the heels of President Trump’s order to fire 59 Tomahawk at a Syrian airbase. Apparently unsatisfied, McCain urged the Trump administration to have a more concrete strategy in dealing with Syria and not to treat the U.S. missile strike as a “one-time deal.”
7. ‘Withdrawing from NAFTA would be a disaster’
On April 26, McCain criticized Trump for considering withdrawing the U.S. from NAFTA.
McCain has been on the wrong side of the fence on trade agreements. In Trump’s first week in office, McCain ripped the president for withdrawing from TPP, saying it was a “serious mistake” and “harmful” to the United States.
American voters connected with Donald Trump, as well as Bernie Sanders, for their stances against unfair trade. As a matter of fact, Sanders was one of the only Democrat senators to support Trump’s decision to kill the controversial trade agreement.
By fighting to keep NAFTA in place, McCain is snubbing the wishes of millions of Americans.
8. Comey firing
After President Trump made the surprise move to fire FBI Director James Comey, McCain rushed to add his spin to the liberal narrative, while also maintaining his call for a special congressional committee to investigate the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Seemingly oblivious to how Comey handled the Clinton email investigation, McCain released a statement on May 9, saying he was “disappointed” in the president’s decision.
“While the President has the legal authority to remove the Director of the FBI, I am disappointed in the President’s decision to remove James Comey from office,” McCain said. “James Comey is a man of honor and integrity, and he has led the FBI well in extraordinary circumstances.”
One reason why McCain may have lavished praise on Comey is because of significant contributions he made to the senator’s presidential campaign.
According to Heavy.com, Comey gave $2,300 to McCain when he was running for president in 2008. Comey made the donation when he was general counsel for defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corporation and Bridgewater Associates, LP, a Connecticut investment firm.
9. ‘Watergate size and scale’
While it is predictable for Democrats to compare any Trump “scandal” to Watergate, it is a little surprising to hear a Republican echo that talking point. But, then again, McCain isn’t your typical Republican.
On May 16, in what was perhaps Trump’s toughest week in office, McCain described new revelations into the firing of former FBI Director James Comey as being of “Watergate size and scale.”
“We’ve seen this movie before,” McCain told CBS News’s Bob Schieffer. “I think it’s reaching the point where it’s of Watergate size and scale… it’s a centipede that the shoe continues to drop.”
“Every couple of days, there’s a new aspect of this really unhappy situation. None of us, no matter what our political leanings are, no matter how we feel about Trump, feel this is not good for America,” McCain added.
Not content to leave it at that, McCain added fuel to the fire the next day by throwing the Iran-Contra scandal into the mix.
“I was thinking about scandals,” McCain told DailyMail.com when asked why he brought up Watergate.
“And I know the ‘Watergate,’ McCain said with emphasis. “But I also – you forgot to report that I said also other scandals including Iran-Contra but you grabbed ahold of Watergate and all of a sudden went to general quarters,” he said, in a reference to how his Watergate comment exploded across the media.
“I was talking about the treatment of scandals and issues over the years that I have observed. And I place just as much emphasis on Iran-Contra,” McCain explained. “We all know we got serious issues before us.”
McCain’s latest comments are sure to push other Republican lawmakers to reconsider their support of the president, amidst the Left’s mounting hysteria over Russia.
At a time when President Trump needs his supporters to rally to him, McCain is working behind the scenes to undermine the president and his agenda.