PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. John McCain and the White House are at odds again, this time over remarks the Arizona statesman made about a military raid in the Middle East that left a Navy SEAL and civilians dead.
McCain (R-Ariz.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told NBC News on Wednesday the raid couldn’t be called a success because the “objective was to kill the bad guys but also capture some of them.”
Navy SEAL Ryan Owens was killed in the January raid on al-Qaida targets, along with an 8-year-old girl.
The White House responded that the raid was a success, with tweets from President Donald Trump and spokesman Sean Spicer’s perturbed comments at a press conference that “anybody who undermines the success of that raid owes an apology and [does] a disservice to the life of Chief Owens.”
Trump weighed in Thursday morning.
McCain later used his POW history as a way to explain his opinion on what makes for a successful mission.
The president has made references to McCain and losing before. Trump called the Vietnam War veteran a “loser” because he was captured. “He’s not a war hero,” Trump said while campaigning in July 2015. “… I like people who weren’t captured.”
At the time, McCain said Trump owed an apology to veterans, not himself. Other Republican presidential candidates came to McCain’s defense, among them Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio.
The senator was heading up a committee hearing on the fighting in Afghanistan on Thursday morning.
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