Senator in McCain's old seat won't condemn Trump attacks on McCain


Sen. Martha McSally refuses to publicly condemn Trump's repeated attacks on the late Sen. John McCain.

Trump's dominion over his own party is so complete that Arizona's Republican senator, Martha McSally, refuses to publicly condemn Trump's repeated attacks on the late Sen. John McCain.

McSally could only muster platitudes about McCain this week, refusing even mild public criticism of Trump after his repeated, vicious attacks.

"I love John McCain. John McCain is an American hero. This state reveres John McCain. And his family deserves respect by everybody," McSally said on Thursday.

McSally also told reporters that she spoke to Trump privately on Wednesday to "make sure he understood how I felt about Sen. McCain and how Arizona felt about Sen. John McCain"

"And he heard me," McSally added.

McSally might like to pretend Trump listened to her, but Trump has a habit of ignoring women who express what they want. In an interview that aired Friday morning on Fox Business, Trump once again trashed McCain as he has been doing nearly every day for a week.

Starting with unhinged attacks on Twitter last weekend and continuing through this interview, Trump has relentlessly berated McCain for both his vote on a GOP bill to repeal Obamacare as well as McCain's small role in providing the FBI with the infamous Steele dossier. Trump even complained that no one thanked him for his non-existent role in McCain's funeral.

On health care, Trump is still fuming about McCain joining Democrats in the Senate to defeat a Republican health care bill in the summer of 2017. The bill would have ripped away health care from millions, caused premiums to increase, and removed protection for people with a pre-existing condition.

"He was horrible, what he did with repeal and replace," Trump told Fox Business even after McSally said Trump heard her concerns.

On the other issue, Trump is upset that McCain handed over the Steele dossier to the FBI after it came into his possession. The dossier, originally funded by a conservative media outlet and then later funded by Hillary Clinton's campaign, compiled intelligence about Trump. While some of the most salacious allegations in the document have yet to be substantiated, other parts of the dossier have been corroborated by subsequent reporting.

Over the past week, Trump accused McCain of sending the dossier to the FBI prior to the 2016 election for "very evil purposes." The truth of the matter is that McCain sent the dossier in December 2017, a month after the election.

All through Trump's attacks on McCain, including his academic record at the Naval Academy, McSally has refused to push back against Trump in public. She is content to speak to him privately, with little obvious impact.

McSally may be concerned about her upcoming 2020 election. She lost the 2018 election to Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), but after her defeat she was appointed by the governor to fill out the remainder of McCain's term.

In her short time as a senator, McSally has proved herself to be obediently subservient to Trump, going so far as to vote to allow Trump to steal money from Arizona military families to fund a border wall.

After Trump declared a fake national emergency at he southern border, Congress had a chance to terminate it. McSally, who previously claimed to fight for Arizona's military bases, opted to turn her back on those families to side with Trump. Now, Trump could swipe funding for five projects, including $40 million for two F-35 related projects at Arizona's Luke Air Force Base.

Time and again, McSally chooses to kowtow to Trump rather than stand up for the people of Arizona.

It is unclear why Trump has decided to resurrect his feud with a dead senator. But it is clear that McSally can't even muster the courage to speak publicly against Trump attacking the man who recently held the very Senate seat she currently holds.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.