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There’s history here.
As news of the tumor, discovered during a procedure to remove a blood clot, rippled through Washington, everyone offered their well-wishes to one of American’s most admired and respected statesmen.
John McCain is an American hero & one of the bravest fighters I've ever known. Cancer doesn't know what it's up against. Give it hell, John.
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) July 20, 2017
John McCain is as tough as they come. Thinking of John, Cindy, their wonderful children, & their whole family tonight.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) July 20, 2017
John McCain is an American hero and a relentless fighter. I wish him Godspeed in this fight and look fwd to welcoming him back to work soon.
— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) July 20, 2017
.@SenJohnMcCain, you are a true fighter & I'll be praying for you until you beat this. I know you will.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) July 20, 2017
John McCain is one tough fighter – we know he'll face this diagnosis with courage and strength. Our family… https://t.co/XXTUltNGey
— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) July 20, 2017
The president of the United States also tweeted out support for McCain.
Melania and I send our thoughts and prayers to Senator McCain, Cindy, and their entire family. Get well soon. https://t.co/fONWVlmYyz
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2017
The full statement reads:
Senator John McCain has always been a fighter. Melania and I send our thoughts and prayers to Senator McCain, Cindy, and their entire family. Get well soon.
That terse language rubbed some people the wrong way, given Trump’s past criticism of McCain. During the primaries, Trump said he preferred heroes who don’t get captured, a dismissive reference to McCain’s time a prisoner of war in Vietnam, where he was repeatedly tortured. People were also upset it took several hours after the news for Trump to tweet about it. (The White House issued the same statement about an hour before the president’s tweet.)
Took you long enough. Will you apologize for saying he's not a war hero now?
— Thor Benson (@thor_benson) July 20, 2017
"He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured? I like people who weren’t captured.” https://t.co/BfdJhBd5C9
— Graham Linehan (@Glinner) July 20, 2017
you made fun of him for being taken prisoner in a war whose draft you dodged https://t.co/TjSP1Wk1Xu
— Dad (@RealKingRamses) July 20, 2017
“He’s not a war hero… I like people that weren’t captured.”
You callously insulted McCain 2 years ago. No one's buying your "sincerity". https://t.co/B7gqPbbV4g
— Kiera (@KieraGorden) July 20, 2017
Curious Don, did you ever apologize to one of our bravest living citizens for saying "He's not a war hero," because he was captured? https://t.co/nrCVjhq75n
— FlókiUSA (@FlokiUSA) July 20, 2017
Others pointed out that the expression of sympathy possibly didn’t come from Trump himself.
Tweets he writes himself never include links. Somebody else wrote this https://t.co/ouh5OA4Wsm
— Greg Pinelo (@gregpinelo) July 20, 2017
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]