Meghan McCain blasted President Donald Trump on Thursday, accusing him of attacking her father, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who has been battling an aggressive form of brain cancer for nearly a year, in an effort to divert from his own political woes.
“Since the beginning of Trump’s campaign there have been extremely personal attacks on my family, on my father,” the younger McCain said on ABC’s “The View” on Thursday.
“It’s really good politics that they’re doing right now,” she added. “Because they are trying to change the narrative . . . not talking about all the other bad things that are going on . . . It’s a real way to gaslight the American public to not focus on the real issues that we should be focusing on.”
McCain’s comments come two days after Trump slammed her father at a political rally in Nashville, and less than three weeks after White House aide Kelly Sadler disparaged the ailing senator’s opinions because he is “dying anyway.”
In Nashville, Trump galvanized his audience by firing at the terminally ill senator for his vote last year against a bill that killed the president’s hope to repeal and replace Obamacare.
“We had it done folks. It was done, and then early in the morning, somebody turned their hand in the wrong direction,” said Trump. “The person that voted that way only talked repeal and replace. He campaigned on it.”
Though Trump didn’t mention McCain by name, the crowd understood his reference.
“There were boos,” Meghan McCain said. “It was elicited by President Trump at the rally.”
President Trump and the Arizona senator have had a contentious relationship, but the president had been mum about his political adversary since Sadler’s comment was reported earlier this month.
Meghan McCain said Sadler backtracked on a promise to apologize.
“I was promised an apology by Kelly Sadler publicly to my family. I did not receive that,” said “The View” co-host, who typically defends Republicans and conservatives on the show. “This is not an administration that’s capable of apologizing.”
Sadler’s comments angered lawmakers on both sides of the political spectrum. Although she was not fired, the White House declined to renounce or publicly apologize for the aide’s remark. Instead, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders expressed concern about the leaking of the conversation, which was made during a closed-door meeting.
“I’m not going to validate a leak one way or the other out of an internal staff meeting,” Sanders said. When asked why she would not simply apologize to McCain, she said, “I’m not going to get into a back and forth because, you know, people want to create issues of leaked staff meetings.”
McCain’s friends have previously told the White House that the Arizona Republican does not want President Trump to attend his funeral, and would like Vice President Mike Pence to come instead.