President Donald Trump on Thursday continued his verbal attacks on the late Sen. John McCain, claiming that the Arizona Republican gave to the FBI an explosive dossier on Trump and Russia “for very evil purposes.”
The president, in an interview with Fox Business, was asked by host Maria Bartiromo why he “spent a good portion of your time in Ohio the other day trashing” McCain when the senator is dead.
“It’s not a good portion of my time, it’s a very small portion,” Trump claimed in an excerpt of the interview released Thursday. He spent several minutes during his rally in Ohio on Wednesday railing against McCain, remarks that did not receive cheers or applause from attendees.
The president claimed McCain drew his ire after reports that the late senator had access to the Steele dossier, a mostly unverified document focusing on Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, and for his vote against repealing Obamacare.
“They gave it to John McCain, who gave it to the FBI for very evil purposes. That’s not good,” Trump told Fox Business. “And the other thing, he voted against repeal and replace — now he’s been campaigning for years for repeal and replace.”
“I’m not a fan,” he said.
The full interview will air Friday morning on Fox Business’ “Mornings with Maria.“
Trump’s assaults came after reports that McCain flagged the dossier to law enforcement officials. The president has maintained that it was an effort to put his presidential campaign in jeopardy.
However, McCain did not give then-FBI Director James Comey a copy of the dossier until December 2016, a month after the election. In addition, FBI officials already had access to parts of document before the election.
Bartiromo pressed Trump on why he continues to attack McCain.
“He can’t punch back,” she said. “I know you punch back, but he’s dead.”
“No, I don’t talk about it. People ask me the question, I didn’t bring this up,” Trump said. “You just brought it up, you asked the question.”
“When I went out yesterday to the scrum, they asked me the question,” the president continued. “When they ask me the question, I answer the question.”
The president, unprompted, tweeted about and began trashing McCain last weekend, before being asked by the media.
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