McCain decries 'disgraceful' draft dodging, chastises Trump for continuing widow feud

  • Sen. John McCain weighed in on President Donald Trump's controversy surrounding a condolence call he made to the widow of US Army Sgt. La David Johnson.
  • Appearing alongside his daughter on "The View", McCain also demanded more information on the ambush that left Johnson and three others dead.
  • McCain expanded on his previous comments about whether Trump was a draft dodger, criticizing the system that has "our lowest income people to do our fighting and dying."


Sen. John McCain of Arizona weighed in on President Donald Trump's ongoing feud with Rep. Frederica Wilson of Florida about a condolence call the commander in chief made to a grieving widow last Tuesday.

"We should not be fighting about a brave American who lost his life serving his country. That should not be the topic of discussion in America today," he said on ABC's "The View" alongside his daughter Meghan McCain on Monday.

After Trump called Myeshia Johnson to express his condolences for the death of her husband, Sgt. La David Johnson, Wilson said Trump didn't say the soldier's name and told his widow that "He knew what he signed up for." Wilson was in the limo with Johnson when Trump called, and heard the call on speakerphone.

Trump hit back at Wilson over the next several days, saying she lied and calling her "wacky." White House chief of staff John Kelly also waded into the debate on Thursday, calling Wilson an "empty barrel" whose "selfish behavior" in sharing the call stunned him.

RELATED: John McCain and family through the years

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John McCain and family through the years
Ok one more. @senjohnmccain with me at our first Christmas as a married couple.
@senjohnmccain @zelda.frenchie.1 and our two boys Jack and Jimmy enjoying the morning at the Navy Memorial.
@DBacks game with @meghanmccain and. @senjohnmccain
So many years ago. @meghanmccain @senjohnmccain at her Columbia University graduation.
One of my favorite family photos. An oldie but a goody! @senjohnmccain @meghanmccain
Thank all of you for the wonderful thoughts. @senjohnmccain is doing well. We as a family will face the next hurdle together. One thing I do know is he is the toughest person I know. He is my hero and I love him with all my heart.
The highlight of my day. ❤️🍴🇺🇸
My rock @cindymccain ❤️❤️❤️
Happy early birthday Dad - I love you with all my heart. ❤️🇺🇸🌵🎂🍰
After dinner talks with Dad 🌵❤️🇺🇸
Hiking the eclipse with Dad 🌵🌙
To everyone who has sent me and my family such kind words of strength and prayers, thank you from the bottom of my heart, it really has been helping me. We start my fathers last (first round) of radiation and chemotherapy today. This last month has easily been the most challenging and difficult of my life. I come from a long lineage of warriors and I have never been more grateful for the strength and fortitude that has been passed down to me, I am relying on it now more than ever. My natural inclination is always to be open and share my life but at the moment I am still in a place where I just want and need to be around my family and am asking for your understanding and patience. To those of you out there living with #GBM or who have a family member or loved one living with #GBM, you are my absolute heroes. We are in this fight together, sending you all love and light. #FUCKCANCER
Happy Fathers Day to my father @senjohnmccain. This picture is how I always think of you, relaxed, in Arizona, grilling us ribs and listening to Frank Sinatra. Thank you for teaching me how to love life and seize every moment. Thank you for exposing me to the world (it's good and bad) and teaching me about character, conviction and having true grit. Finally thank you for always giving me something to believe in, in a world where it has become increasingly harder to find. I love you with all my heart. 🇺🇸❤️
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On Monday morning, Johnson confirmed Wilson's account on "Good Morning America." The Gold Star widow said Trump did not remember her husband's name and told her that her husband "he knew what he signed up for."

After her interview aired, Trump tweeted that she was wrong, saying he did use her husband's name "from the beginning", and that they had "a very respectful conversation."

Demanding answers on the Niger ambush

Johnson said the Army wasn't sharing key details about her husband's death, and that she was seeking answers.

McCain, the six-term Republican from Arizona who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, is also pushing for more information about the Niger ambush, which left three other US soldiers dead in addition to Sgt. Johnson.

"Americans should know what's going on in Niger, should know what caused the deaths of four brave, young Americans, should know what kind of operations we're engaged in," McCain said on Monday. "One of the fights I'm having right now with the administration is the armed services committee is not getting enough information."

Last week, McCain accused the White House of not being upfront about the Niger ambush, and told the Daily Beast that he hadn't "heard anything about it, to tell you the truth, except that they were killed."

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are joining McCain's call for more information, and both said on Sunday that they weren't aware the US had 1,000 troops in Africa.

'I fight back'

McCain has recently ramped up his criticisms of Trump. Last week, he warned that the US is turning toward "half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems."

"I hear everything," Trump told WMAL radio when asked about McCain's comments last week. "People have to be careful because at some point I fight back."

When "The View" hosts asked if McCain was "scared" of Trump fighting back, the veteran and his daughter laughed.

RELATED: John McCain's military capture and rescue

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A photo taken by a French cameraman in 1967 shows US Navy Airforce Major John McCain lying on a bed in a Hanoi hospital as he was being given medical care for his injuries. John McCain was captured in 1967 at a lake in Hanoi after his Navy warplane was downed by the Northern Vietnamese army during the Vietnam War.
P368426 01: (File Photo) Senator John Mccain Is Pulled Out Of A Hanoi Lake By North Vietnamese Army Soldiers And Civilians October 26, 1967 In Hanoi, North Vietnam. Mccain's A-4E Skyhawk Was Shot Down By A Surface-To-Air Missile. Mccain Broke Both Arms And His Right Knee Upon Ejection And Lost Consciousness Until He Hit The Water. (Photo By Getty Images)
P368426 04: (File Photo) Senator John Mccain In A Hanoi Hospital During The Vietnam War November, 1967. (Photo By Getty Images)
P368426 06: (File Photo) A Statue Commemorating October 26, 1967, The Day Lt. Cmdr. John Mccain Was Captured By The North Vietnamese Army, Stands In Hanoi, North Vietnam. (Photo By Getty Images)
P368426 05: (File Photo) A Mug Shot Of Senator John Mccain As A P.O.W. Taken By The North Vietnamese Sometime Between 1967-73 (Photo By Getty Images)
HANOI, VIET NAM: This file picture taken in 1967 shows US Navy Airforce Major John McCain lying on a bed in a Hanoi hospital as he was being given medical care for his injuries. McCain was captured in 1967 at a lake in Hanoi after his Navy warplane was downed by the Northern Vietnamese army during the Vietnam War. One of his rescuers said 24 February 2000, McCain was well treated after being pulled from the lake by villagers. McCain said that upon capture he was beaten by an angry mob and bayoneted in the groin. (B/W ONLY) AFP PHOTO (Photo credit should read AFP/Getty Images)
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McCain also seemed to call the president out on Sunday for his medical deferment for bone spurs from the Vietnam War. On Monday, however, he clarified those comments, saying he doesn't consider Trump a draft dodger, and placed more blame on the "disgraceful" system during the Vietnam War that had "the lowest income portion of our public to do our fighting and dying."

"What's your relationship like with the president?" Sara Haines, one of hosts of "The View" asked the senator, wondering if he talked to him on the phone often.

"Almost none," he said.

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SEE ALSO: 'The answer we have now is not adequate': Lawmakers are raising questions about the ambush on US troops in Niger

 

DON'T MISS: Gold Star widow breaks her silence, says Trump couldn't remember husband's name and said 'he knew what he signed up for'

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