WASHINGTON — Many Senate Republicans are as perplexed as they are perturbed about President Trump’s sustained attack on their colleague, John McCain. But few want to shout about it.
Baffled as they may be over why Mr. Trump continues to vilify a man who devoted his life to his nation and suffered as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, that doesn’t mean that all of his former colleagues want to get caught in a feud between a president popular with Republican voters and a memory. Most have not publicly commented on Mr. Trump’s continuing character and policy assault on a man whom many served with for years.
Attempts to reach multiple senior senators for their views and reactions were unsuccessful. They are scattered around the world and the United States on their weeklong break, but senators can find a way to make themselves heard if they believe the subject is important enough.
There were some exceptions.
“I just don’t understand why the president keeps returning to his dislike of John McCain and criticizing him, particularly now that he is no longer alive,” Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine and a longtime friend and ally of Mr. McCain, said in an interview. “The president should refrain from any further criticism of John McCain, an American hero who served his country well.”
A handful of other Republicans have spoken out, emphasizing their high regard and their deep respect for Mr. McCain, who died last year. Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican and veteran from Iowa, and Senator Johnny Isakson, a normally reserved Republican of Georgia, are among a few who have directly criticized the president’s actions. Mr. Isakson called the comments “deplorable,” and urged him to stop.
Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the majority leader, who had his own giant clashes with Mr. McCain, Republican of Arizona, over campaign finance laws, praised his former colleague on Twitter as “a rare patriot and genuine American hero in the Senate.” But he did not directly address Mr. Trump’s comments.
Others Republicans, such as Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, have taken a similar approach in praising Mr. McCain — but avoiding Mr. Trump. Senator Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican who attended Wednesday’s rally in Lima, Ohio, where the president went on an extended tirade against Mr. McCain, expressed some frustration at being pressed on the subject, according to a report in The Columbus Dispatch.
“John McCain was a war hero. I’ve told you that before,” he said. “That’s how I feel.” Representative Bob Latta, Republican of Ohio, who was there as well, told the paper he did not want to discuss the remarks.
The awkward silence was not lost on Democrats.
“What has happened to my colleagues in the Republican Party?” asked Senator Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware. “I am genuinely struggling to grasp what Trump could possibly think was the upside of continuing to trash a genuine American hero regardless of what he thought of his last year’s voting record.”
“I am grateful for a few friends like Senator Isakson, who stood forward and said clearly what everyone is thinking but not enough senators are saying,” Mr. Coons said.
Mr. Coons was correct about what everyone is thinking on Capitol Hill. Despite the lack of a robust Republican defense on behalf of Mr. McCain, party strategists and top congressional officials said privately that they and many senators believe the president’s persistent onslaught against the senator was, by various accounts, ugly, bizarre, disgusting, disturbing, counterproductive and just plain weird.
Not only did it call attention to Mr. Trump’s own failure to serve in Vietnam despite his being of prime draft age at the time, it rankled veterans who tend to rally around their own and detracted from the economic and national security message Mr. Trump was trying to present.
Former Senator Bob Kerrey, a Democrat who lost a leg in Vietnam, appeared on CNN to challenge Mr. Trump to show Americans the bone spurs in his foot that kept him out of the war. (The New York Times last year located the daughters of a podiatrist from Queens, Dr. Larry Braunstein, who said their father, who died in 2007, often told the story of coming to the aid of a young Mr. Trump during the Vietnam War as a favor to Fred C. Trump, his landlord and the president’s father.)
Mr. Trump’s attacks continued on Thursday. When Maria Bartiromo, a Fox Business Network anchor, asked about Mr. McCain in an interview, the president insisted the news media had brought up the issue first — when in fact he had begun his tirade in Ohio unbidden and on television.
“When I went out yesterday to the scrum, they asked me the question,” he said falsely, before again hitting the senator for voting against a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. “When they ask me the question, I answer the question. But you people bring it up, I don’t bring it up. I’m not a fan. He was horrible — what he did with repeal and replace. What he did to the Republican Party and to the nation, and to sick people that could have had great health care, was not good. So I’m not a fan of John McCain and that’s fine.”
There are multiple potential reasons Republican senators were steering clear of the dispute between the president and a man interred with military honors at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. First, it is a fact that Mr. McCain had a temper and could be difficult to deal with — and not all senators, despite their appreciation and respect for his service, have such fond recollections.
Plus, a dozen Republican senators last week broke with Mr. Trump on his declaration of an emergency to redirect federal dollars to his wall along the southwestern border, prompting some backlash at home and giving Republican lawmakers pause about the prospect of challenging the president.
In most Republican-dominated states, the president remains far more popular with Republican voters than the senators who represent them. Mr. McCain was no favorite of the more conservative voters who now dominate in party strongholds, one of the reasons Mr. Trump’s initial campaign attack on the party’s 2008 nominee — “I like people who weren’t captured” — did little damage with the base.
At the same time, aides reported that senators traveling their states were not being pressed on Mr. Trump’s attack on Mr. McCain by either the public or local news media.
No one can be sure what is driving Mr. Trump, but there are multiple potential explanations. Mr. Trump himself highlighted the fact that Mr. McCain had personally presented to the F.B.I. the unconfirmed private intelligence report, the so-called dossier, suggesting ties between Mr. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Russian government, as well as other misconduct.
“He turned it over to the F.B.I., hoping to put me in jeopardy,” Mr. Trump told the crowd in Ohio. “And that’s not the nicest thing to do.”
With his decisive vote against repeal of the health care law, Mr. McCain, through his famous thumbs-down gesture, denied the president the chance to achieve one of his central campaign promises. Mr. Trump also skewered Mr. McCain for his support of armed intervention in the Middle East. Perhaps most astoundingly, the president dinged Mr. McCain and his family for not thanking him for his cooperation in staging a funeral to which he was not invited — and which he had no role in.
The Washington National Cathedral, where a memorial service for Mr. McCain was held, released a statement on Thursday, saying: “Only a state funeral for a former president involves consultation with government officials. No funeral at the cathedral requires the approval of the president or any other government official.”
No matter to Mr. Trump.
“That’s O.K.,” he said. “We sent him on his way.”
Mr. McCain is indeed gone, no longer roaming the Capitol hallways where he capably defended himself. Were he here, he would no doubt relish the extent to which he has somehow gotten into Mr. Trump’s head even in death, not to mention the bind in which he has put politically cautious colleagues forced to pick between him and the president.B:
【凤】【栖】【努】【力】【扯】【出】【一】【抹】【轻】【松】【的】【笑】【意】【来】，【说】：“【哥】【哥】，【你】【这】【是】【说】【的】【什】【么】【话】？【把】【我】【带】【走】【的】，【怎】【么】【可】【能】【不】【是】【人】？” 【凤】【临】【渊】【嘴】【角】【轻】【勾】。 【他】【就】【知】【道】，【凤】【栖】【不】【会】【轻】【易】【承】【认】【的】。 【可】【是】【作】【为】【凤】【家】【的】【长】【子】，【他】【有】【必】【要】【将】【这】【件】【事】【弄】【清】【楚】！ 【因】【此】，【他】【便】【也】【不】【再】【拐】【弯】【抹】【角】。 【直】【截】【了】【当】【的】，【将】【昨】【天】【发】【生】【的】【事】【情】【说】【了】【一】【遍】。 【凤】【栖】【对】
【皇】【后】【看】【到】【沈】【姝】【眼】【底】【的】【戒】【备】，【并】【不】【感】【觉】【意】【外】。 【待】【到】【沈】【姝】【落】【座】，【她】【温】【声】【道】：“【此】【番】【请】【你】【来】【坤】【宁】【宫】，【是】【受】【令】【兄】【所】【托】，【有】【些】【话】，【他】【不】【方】【便】【与】【你】【详】【说】，【才】【会】【请】【本】【宫】【出】【面】。” 【沈】【姝】【暗】【生】【疑】【窦】，【那】【帕】【子】【确】【实】【是】【三】【哥】【的】，【也】【是】【只】【有】【他】【们】【兄】【妹】【才】【知】【道】【的】【暗】【号】，【若】【果】【真】【是】【哥】【哥】【让】【皇】【后】【出】【面】【将】【她】【带】【来】【此】【处】，【事】【情】【或】【许】【比】【她】【想】【象】【中】【还】【要】【严】【重】
“【你】【行】【不】【行】【啊】，【真】【不】【用】【帮】【忙】？” 【在】【医】【院】【得】【到】【了】【已】【经】【康】【复】【的】【结】【果】，【凤】【羽】【就】【搬】【回】【了】【之】【前】【住】【了】【没】【几】【天】【的】【房】【子】【之】【中】。 【而】【榆】【锋】【此】【刻】【看】【着】【她】【自】【己】【来】【回】【走】【着】【收】【拾】【东】【西】，【总】【觉】【得】【还】【是】【有】【些】【担】【心】。 “【不】【用】，【我】【都】【说】【没】【事】【了】，【这】【段】【时】【间】【谢】【谢】【你】，【我】【知】【道】【这】【一】【切】【都】【是】【你】【给】【安】【排】【的】，【谢】【谢】！” 【将】【东】【西】【放】【好】，【凤】【羽】【抬】【眼】【看】【着】【榆】【锋】，【如】
【温】【良】【非】【常】【坚】【定】【的】【开】【口】【说】【道】，【这】【些】【话】【根】【本】【就】【不】【像】【是】【在】【反】【驳】【面】【前】【这】【个】【女】【人】，【倒】【像】【是】【在】【安】【慰】【她】【自】【己】【的】【心】。 “【他】【其】【实】【已】【经】【开】【始】【新】【生】【活】【了】，【所】【以】【你】【也】【忘】【掉】【过】【去】【吧】！【事】【到】【如】【今】，【我】【们】【真】【的】【都】【无】【能】【为】【力】【了】。”【艾】【琳】【叹】【气】【道】，【故】【意】【不】【把】【自】【己】【设】【计】【好】【的】【东】【西】【拿】【出】【来】，【一】【定】【要】【引】【诱】【勉】【强】【这】【个】【男】【人】【的】【好】【奇】【心】，【以】【便】【于】【让】【他】【相】【信】。 “【她】【做】【什】
292 【地】【下】【溶】【洞】 【打】【开】【那】【座】【后】【门】【之】【后】，【出】【现】【在】【眼】【前】【的】【是】【一】【座】【两】【边】【狭】【长】【的】【甬】【道】。 【看】【着】【眼】【前】【这】【甬】【道】，【大】【家】【都】【感】【到】【不】【可】【思】【议】，【这】【是】【什】【么】？ 【忽】【然】【芳】【儿】【道】：“【你】【们】【听】【到】【有】【人】【在】【呼】【救】【没】【有】？” 【经】【过】【她】【的】【提】【醒】，【众】【人】【都】【面】【色】【大】【变】，【似】【乎】【在】【甬】【道】【的】【尽】【头】，【有】【女】【子】【在】【呼】【救】！ 【林】【强】【立】【刻】【抽】【出】【腰】【间】【的】【长】【剑】，【朝】【着】【甬】【道】【深】【处】【奔】
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