During Sunday’s broadcast of “Union” on CNN, Tapper paused to talk about a recent report in The New York Times that McCain, 81, is making plans for the future as he fights aggressive brain cancer.
“I want to change the subject for one second,” Tapper said on Sunday night. “This has been reported now in the The New York Times and elsewhere. The plan would be to have Mike Pence be the one to honor Senator McCain in hopefully long, long, long from now event of his demise. This is a real moment for the country where an American hero, somebody beloved in many, many ways is saying, ‘I don’t want this guy at my funeral.’”
Tapper also addressed McCain directly, saying that he’s “rooting” for the ailing “hero.” Along with serving as a senator since 1987, McCain is a Vietnam war veteran and was the 2008 Republican presidential candidate.
In 2015, Trump dismissed McCain’s experiences as a prisoner of war, saying he likes “people who weren’t captured.” Over the weekend, the president called the senator’s vote against health care reform “a bad vote” and “not a nice thing” in a speech to the NRA.
The discourse continued on “State of the Union” after Tapper’s comment. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) said that he wasn’t particularly surprised by McCain’s feelings about Trump because the senator, Meeks said, is not a hypocrite.
“Senator McCain is known for being honest, just the opposite of Donald Trump, and frank. When someone would come up with something negative about President Obama, he corrected them,” said Meeks.
“And so, I wouldn’t expect anything to be different for Mr. McCain, Sen. McCain, now. He is not going to be a hypocrite. He does not believe that Donald Trump represents the kind of moral authority that the president of the United States should represent for our country and the rest of the world ... It would be a mischaracterization of who he is.”
Those sentiments were backed by “Unfiltered” host S.E. Cupp who said that McCain is “not a sellout,” later adding, “Senator McCain is everything that President Trump is not.”