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Sen. John McCain tells veteran group to renounce Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told a veteran group Thursday that it should renounce Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump, despite McCain’s ongoing feud with the Republican presidential nominee.

“I certainly do not want Hillary Clinton as president of the United States and four more years of a failed national security policy,” he said at the round table event in Phoenix.

McCain told the group of retired veterans — who endorsed the senator at the event — that Clinton would extend President Barack Obama’s national security policies, which McCain has criticized.

McCain mentioned Obama calling the Islamic State terror group the junior varsity squad during the event.

“You can go anyplace just about in the world and you’ll see a failed national security policy,” McCain said. “The same guy that called ISIS the JV.”

The senator said one of the main reasons veterans should support the Republican nominee is because of Clinton’s shortcomings during the fallout of an incident in Benghazi, Libya that left four Americans — including an ambassador — dead.

“I was there when the bodies came back from Benghazi — and you can ask the father who took notes and the mother that was there — she told them that it was a hateful video that caused the death of their son,” he said.

However, McCain did not outright endorse Trump. The pair have been feuding for more than a year. The public tiff began when Trump criticized McCain’s war record, saying the senator was only a war hero because he was captured while serving in Vietnam.

“I like people who weren’t captured,” the New York billionaire said in 2015.

The pair have traded barbs in the media every since. When asked about supporting Trump, McCain nipped the line of questioning in the bud.

“I have covered that issue completely and I have nothing more to say about it,” he said. “I am supporting the nominee of the party and I will continue to run my own campaign.”

KTAR’s Jim Cross contributed to this report.

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