The daughter of the late war hero, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) bluntly responded to Trump bragging that he’d spent more time in the country than Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who came under fire in 2010 for suggesting he served in Vietnam while a member of the Marine Corps Reserve.
“I have now spent more time in Vietnam than Da Nang Dick Blumenthal, the third rate Senator from Connecticut,” Trump tweeted. “His war stories of his heroism in Vietnam were a total fraud ― he was never even there. We talked about it today with Vietnamese leaders!”
Meghan McCain, a panelist on ABC’s “The View,” responded on Twitter with a sobering question. “Have you taken a trip to the Hanoi Hilton yet?” she wrote, referring to the term U.S. captives used for the jail where her father was held as a prisoner of war and tortured by the North Vietnamese for more than five years.
Trump and the late senator often clashed, with the president sparking controversy early in his presidential campaign by saying that McCain was not a war hero because he was captured.
When McCain died in August after being diagnosed with brain cancer, Trump was excluded from the invitation list the senator had prepared for his funeral. Following McCain’s death, flags at the White House flew at half-staff for only one-and-a-half days while flags remained lowered for several more days at the U.S. Capitol. A swift backlash prompted the president to order the White House flags lowered until McCain was interred.
Hours after Trump sent his tweet attacking Blumenthal, the president’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, testified to Congress that the president suggested during a conversation with him that he purposefully avoided the draft for the Vietnam War.
Trump was deferred from the military draft because of bone spurs in his heels.
Cohen told a House committee on Wednesday that though Trump claimed the bone spurs gained him the deferment, “when I asked for medical records, he gave me none and said there was no surgery. He finished the conversation with the following comment: ‘You think I’m stupid, I wasn’t going to Vietnam.’”
The daughters of the podiatrist who diagnosed the president with the bone spurs in 1968 told The New York Times in December that their father did so as “a favor” to Trump’s father.