President Donald Trump's State of the Union was billed as a message of unity, and he devoted a fair amount of his hour and 20 minutes to those very talking points. But, earlier in the day, he was reportedly busy insulting Democrats and at least one Republican — the late Sen. John McCain. After The New York Times reported the dig, McCain's daughter, Meghan McCain, called Trump's "obsession" with her late father "pathetic."
The reported dig came at a private lunch for television anchors on Tuesday, ahead of the State of the Union. Trump gave those gathered an assessment of the country that more closely matched his typical political persona than his message of unity from Tuesday night. He focused almost exclusively on attacking Democrats, but apparently told the story of Sen. McCain voting against the repeal of Obamacare, reportedly calling it a betrayal. He added, "By the way, he wrote a book and the book bombed," per The Times.
Meghan was having none of it. "The president’s obsession with my father 6 months after his death is pathetic and telling — even at a time when he should be focusing on his message to the American public and the state of our union — the greatness of my father’s life and legacy haunts you," she wrote, retweeting a post from Vote Vets that apologized to her and her mother.
"So we're all clear — this is our Presidents [sic] version of the 'rejecting of the politics of revenge,'" Meghan added just a few hours later, retweeting a post linking to a People magazine article on Trump's reported insult.
Meghan also retweeted a comment from speechwriter Mark Salter suggesting that people buy her father's book, which Salter co-wrote. "If any of the president's detractors would like to annoy him tonight may I offer a suggestion," the tweet read. "Consider purchasing this two time #1 NYT bestseller."
He linked to the Amazon listing for the book, The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights and Other Appreciations. This was Sen. McCain's last book, published in May 2018.
But this was not the first time that Trump has insulted Sen. McCain — far from it. "He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured," Trump said during a political forum in Ames, Iowa, in July 2015. This is perhaps the most well-known jab.
Meghan has had a hard time with her father's death. She said in an interview with Porter, previewed by USA Today this week, that she is suffering from deep grief. "It’s horrible," she reportedly said in the interview. "I’m in therapy, I’m in counseling, I’m reading Joan Didion — books and books about grief, doing everything I possibly can. I’m trying to meditate — I’m terrible at it."
She has continued to work in politics despite Trump's harsh words about her father. She still works as a co-host on The View and often joins ABC News panels as a contributor, as she did on Tuesday night for Trump's State of the Union.