President Donald Trump tweeted “deepest sympathies and respect” for the family of John McCain shortly after the senator died Saturday after a battle with brain cancer.
“My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!” he tweeted.
Trump’s reelection campaign later released a statement that read: “All of us at the Trump Campaign offer our sincere condolences to the family of Senator John McCain following his passing this evening. We encourage all Americans to take the opportunity to remember Senator McCain and his family in their prayers on this sad occasion.”
When asked for an official statement on McCain’s death, the White House referred to Trump’s tweet.
Trump frequently attacked McCain and his thumbs-down vote against an Obamacare repeal – even if he stopped referring to McCain by name in recent months. Earlier this month, Trump declined to mention McCain as he signed the military funding bill that carried the Arizona Republican’s name.
Trump’s attacks on McCain led the senator’s daughter Meghan McCain to say, “his comments are never going to be OK with me, especially at this moment in my life. I’m never going to forgive it.”
Trump was also roundly criticized in 2015 when he said that McCain, who spent five and a half years as a prisoner of war after being shot down in North Vietnam, was not a hero because he was captured.
“I like people who weren’t captured,” Trump said.