"I want, when I leave [to] just have a couple of people that stand up and say, 'This guy, he served his country, '" McCain told Leslie Stahl previous year on "60 Minutes". "Melania urged Donald to work with a speechwriter to compose a touching tribute to John, but he refused, claiming it would come across as phony given their highly contentious relationship prior to his passing". Earlier this month Trump did not utter McCain's name while signing a military spending bill named in his honor, and he said nothing when McCain announced he would stop treatment for his illness.
Behind the complicated and contentious political history. Gwen and I send our deepest condolences to Cindy and Senator McCain's entire family.
In sharp contrast to an array of similarly worded sympathies and praises, expressed by United States lawmakers, former presidents and foreign leaders, on Saturday Trump instead tweeted briefly: "My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!" he tweeted instead.
In 2008, Arizona Senator John McCain became widely known in Kenya as the White House contender who was pulling out all the stops to prevent Kenya's "son", his then-Illinois colleague Barack Obama, from becoming the first American President of African descent. But, to me, more than anything, John was a friend. John McCain's legacy, less than a day after the elder statesman's death.
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French president Emmanuel Macron tweeted in English that McCain "was a true American hero". He continued to believe that McCain was not a war hero, officials said, mirroring his controversial 2015 comment in Iowa when he attacked the Arizona senator for being captured and living in torturous conditions in Vietnam for nearly six years.
Jon Biden, the former Vice President of the USA chose to highlight in his tribute what made Mr McCain overcome the many challenges that had characterised his life: country and spirit.
Critics on Saturday blasted for president for the seemingly superficial nature of his words for McCain. Weeks leading up to his death, McCain called Trump "naïve" for meeting Vladimir Putin at the Helsinki Summit.
Trump and McCain were at bitter odds until the end. "I think it's the same feeling for all Vietnamese people as he has greatly contributed to the development of Vietnam-U.S. relations", Duyet was quoted as saying. "I didn't vote the same way he did, but I admired him for doing what he did", Flake said. "And while he never made it to the presidency, in the Senate, he was the leader that would see a hot spot in the world and just say, we need to go there and stand up for that democracy".