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Graham Fights Back Tears While Defending McCain From Trump

Trump has once again set his sights on John McCain as a dissenting member of the Republican party, and McCain's getting some support from an unlikely place. McCain “can vote any way he wants to,” regardless what the president thinks, Sen. Lindsey Graham declared Monday night.

The South Carolina Republican was defending his longtime friend from Arizona, whom President Trump criticized for opposing the Graham-Cassidy health-care bill. Earlier in the evening, Trump tweeted: “A few of the many clips of John McCain talking about Repealing & Replacing O'Care. My oh my has he changed … complete turn from years of talk!” Graham fired back: “(McCain) can do whatever he wants to. He’s earned that right.”

Trump is upset with McCain and several other GOP senators for pledging to vote against the bill, the latest attempt by congressional Republicans to reform Obamacare. Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine also have announced that they will join Senate Democrats in opposing the legislation, which appeared to be doomed to fail at last report. According to CBS News, McCain said he could not support the bill because it had not been subjected to the Senate’s regular order of business.

The Huffington Post reported that Graham teared up when he was asked about the president’s tweet during a health-care debate with Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. “John, if you’re listening ... nobody respects you more than I do,” Graham said. “So to any American who’s got a problem with John McCain’s vote, all I can tell you is that John McCain was willing to die for this country, and he can vote any way he wants to, and it doesn’t matter to me in terms of friendship.”

It is not the first time McCain has stood in the way of passing an Obamacare-replacement measure. In July, he cast the deciding vote against a Republican-sponsored bill that would have significantly changed the Affordable Care Act. The Associated Press reported that Trump, responding to McCain’s pledge to vote against Graham-Cassidy, declared on “The Rick & Bubba Show” on Monday night: “I mean, you look at McCain, what McCain has done is a tremendous slap in the face of the Republican Party.”

The president and McCain have been at odds for a long time. During the presidential campaign, Trump insisted that the senator was “not a war hero” even though he spent nearly six years as a tortured prisoner of war in North Vietnam.

Eleven days before his July vote, McCain underwent surgery for brain cancer. Since then, he has been receiving chemotherapy and radiation treatments. The senator said Sunday night on CBS’ “60 Minutes” that his tumor is “very, very serious," and that doctors had warned him "it’s a very poor prognosis.” He recalled: “So I just said, ‘I understand.' Now we’re going to do what we can, get the best doctors we can find and do the best we can, and at the same time celebrate with gratitude a life well-lived.’”

CNN reported that McCain was asked about his fellow lawmakers’ standing ovation to welcome him back to the Senate floor after his surgery. “I got very choked up, and then, of course, you know, all of them coming over and giving me a hug,” he replied. “It was deeply moving, I had never seen anything like that.”

Source: HuffPost, CBS News
Photo: YouTube

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