US President Donald Trump has warned Republican John McCain that he would “fight back” after he had questioned “half-baked, spurious nationalism” in America’s foreign policy.
“People have to careful, because at some point I fight back,” Trump told WMAL radio in an interview on Tuesday. “I’m being very nice. I’m being very, very nice. But at some point I fight back, and it won’t be pretty.”
Moments later McCain responded to Trump’s comments saying that he has “faced far greater challenges than this.”
The back-and-forth verbal argument comes after McCain blasted “half-baked, spurious nationalism” in the United State in a speech late Monday.
“To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain ‘the last best hope of earth’ for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history,” McCain said after receiving the National Constitution Center’s Liberty Medal.
Prior to the 2016 election and since then, McCain and Trump have had a rocky relationship. McCain criticized Trump during his campaign and has not stopped his criticism, bucking Trump’s agenda on key policy issues.
Trump, who campaigned on an “America first” agenda and has scorned international agreements and institutions as unfair to the US, took McCain’s comments as a jab.
In the radio interview Trump also said that McCain had voted against Republican efforts to dismantle former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law known as Obamacare, saying the vote was a “shocker.”
To show his willingness to break away from his party and eventually with Trump, McCain joined two of his party colleagues and voted down a so-called “skinny” Obamacare repeal bill.
The Arizona Republican has lashed out at Trump for his handling of the Afghanistan war, saying this administration like the previous ones had not been able to provide a cohesive strategy.
The 80-year-old Arizona lawmaker’s office announced in July that had been diagnosed with brain cancer.