President Donald Trump took to Twitter over the weekend to attack the late Senator John McCain (R-AZ) once again, deriding the lawmaker as “last in his class” a full seven months after McCain’s passing.
But as RawStory noted, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) — regarded as McCain’s best friend in Congress and now generally a staunch supporter of the president — did not immediately come to his late friend’s defense.
When he finally did tweet a response to Trump’s criticism, Graham made sure not to mention the president by name.
“Dossier “is unfortunately a very dark stain against John McCain.” Ken Starr, Former Independent Counsel,” Trump tweeted on Saturday. “He had far worse “stains” than this, including thumbs down on repeal and replace after years of campaigning to repeal and replace!”
Twitter users were quick to call out Graham’s silence, particularly after the Republican tweeted a message about St. Patrick’s Day but failed to mention McCain.
Trump followed up on Sunday, tweeting a second disparaging message about McCain — at which point Graham still had not responded publicly.
“So it was indeed (just proven in court papers) “last in his class” (Annapolis) John McCain that sent the Fake Dossier to the FBI and Media hoping to have it printed BEFORE the Election,” the president wrote. “He & the Dems, working together, failed (as usual). Even the Fake News refused this garbage!”
Graham finally addressed the issue later on Sunday morning, tweeting of McCain and his service: “He stepped forward to risk his life for his country, served honorably under difficult circumstances, and was one of the most consequential senators in the history of the body.”
“Nothing about his service will ever be changed or diminished,” Graham added.
The South Carolina Republican made no mention of Trump by name in his response.
Graham confused many on both sides of the aisle as he transitioned from criticizing Trump to defending and supporting the president.
Trump’s criticism of McCain began when the senator was still alive and voiced opposition to elements of the president’s agenda and leadership style.
Even after McCain’s death, Trump has revisited the senator’s vote against the GOP’s attempt to repeal Obamacare in 2017.