Trump supporters are now going on Fox News and smearing the service and POW status of a dying man – Arizona Senator John McCain.
The Washington Post reported on the incident, first reminding readers of Trump’s attack on Sen. John McCain during the 2016 campaign:
Well, President Trump has said he wants to “fight fire with fire” and commonly endorses barbaric approaches to detainees. During the 2016 campaign, Trump made some memorable statements about Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who was tortured while a prisoner of war in Vietnam. “He was a war hero because he was captured,” Trump said at a 2015 event. “I like people who weren’t captured.” So there’s the bar, as set by the president of the United States.
Continuing, The Washington Post wrote:
Now check out how retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney approaches that bar. During a discussion with host Charles Payne on Fox Business Network, McInerney was asked to opine on the criticism faced by Gina Haspel, who was grilled on Wednesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee in her pursuit of confirmation for the top job at the CIA. Having played a role in the CIA’s interrogation/torture program during the 2000s, Haspel waffled a bit as Democratic senators pushed her on the morality of the methods, which are no longer in force.
Below is a transcript of the exchange:
- CHARLES PAYNE (HOST): Senator John McCain, he’s not going to endorse Haspel also in part because she believes in torture, that she thinks it works, even though she laid out at least three instances where it did work to the benefit of humankind, not just Americans, but all human beings. Should they be evaluating this nominee on her feelings, or based strictly on the facts and her commitment not to use it anymore because it’s no longer legal for us.
- LT. GEN. THOMAS MCINERNEY: Well she can’t use it anymore because we have determined in Congress that it’s not legal. The fact is, is John McCain — it worked on John. That’s why they call him ‘Songbird John.’ The fact is those methods can work, and they are effective, as former Vice President Cheney said. And if we have to use them to save a million American lives, we will do whatever we have to.
Those remarks are particularly despicable considering the fact that John McCain is currently battling an aggressive form of brain cancer.
As the New York Post reported:
McCain remained at home in Arizona battling brain cancer as Wednesday’s debate on Haspel’s nomination turned to the past use of enhanced interrogation techniques, now banned, that Trump has suggested perhaps should return.
There is no evidence that McCain, a Navy pilot who was tortured in captivity during the war, ever cooperated with the enemy.
In a statement, he praised Haspel but explained his reasons for not supporting her.
“I believe Gina Haspel is a patriot who loves our country and has devoted her professional life to its service and defense,” he said.
The progressive political action committee Vote Vets was quick to respond, tweeting: “Trump supporters are now going on TV and smearing the service and POW status of a dying man. What has this country come to?”
Their tweet also included a clip of the interview:
Donald Trump supporters are now going on TV and smearing the service and POW status of a dying man. What has this country come to? pic.twitter.com/OPd40rzkqm
— VoteVets (@votevets) May 10, 2018
Host Charles Payne responded by posting an apology on his Twitter account, tweeting: “My Apology to Senator McCain and his Family. This morning on a show I was hosting, a guest made a very false and derogatory remark about Senator John McCain. At the time, I had the control room in my ear telling me to wrap the segment, and did not hear the comment.”
My Apology to Senator McCain and his Family
“This morning on a show I was hosting, a guest made a very false and derogatory remark about Senator John McCain. At the time, I had the control room in my ear telling me to wrap the segment, and did not hear the comment.
— Charles V Payne (@cvpayne) May 10, 2018
He also issued an on-air apology as well:
As promised… pic.twitter.com/RCjg7bLWAi
— Charles V Payne (@cvpayne) May 10, 2018
Daily Beast Senior Editor Andrew Kirell reported on Twitter that Fox News was distancing themselves from McInerney:
BTW: Fox News now says Lt. Gen. McInerney—who said torture is good b/c “it worked on McCain”—hasn’t been a paid analyst in nearly a year. https://t.co/jPhw2m8qfA
— Andrew Kirell (@AndrewKirell) May 10, 2018