News and Opinion Based on Facts

Monday, July 20, 2015

What Was Trump Doing While MCCain was Being Tortured In Vietnam?

He was 21 years old and handsome with a full head of hair. He avoided the Vietnam War draft on his way to earning an Ivy League degree. He was fond of fancy dinners, beautiful women and outrageous clubs. Most important, he had a job in his father’s real estate company and a brain bursting with money-making ideas that would make him a billionaire.

“When I graduated from college, I had a net worth of perhaps $200,000,” he said in his 1987 autobiography “Trump: The Art of the Deal,” written with Tony Schwartz. (That’s about $1.4 million in 2015 dollars.) “I had my eye on Manhattan.”

More than 8,000 miles away, John McCain sat in a tiny, squalid North Vietnamese prison cell. The Navy pilot’s body was broken from a plane crash, starvation, botched operations and months of torture.

As Trump was preparing to take Manhattan, McCain was trying to relearn how to walk.

The stark contrast in their fortunes was thrown into sharp relief Saturday when Trump belittled McCain during a campaign speech in Iowa.

“He’s not a war hero,” Trump said of McCain.

“He’s a war hero because he was captured,” Trump said sarcastically. “I like people that weren’t captured.”

Watch Donald Trump say John McCain is 'not a war hero'(1:05)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a decorated Vietnam war veteran, was not a war hero because he was captured by the North Vietnamese. (C-SPAN)
[Trump slams McCain for being ‘captured’ in Vietnam; other Republicans quickly condemn him]

Trump’s comments drew scorn from his fellow Republican presidential contenders. But The Donald didn’t back down.

“When I left the room, it was a total standing ovation,” he told ABC News in reference to his already infamous Iowa speech. “It was wonderful to see. Nobody was insulted.”

In fact, a lot of people were insulted.

“John McCain is a hero, a man of grit and guts and character personified,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement. “He served and bled and endured unspeakable acts of torture. His captors broke his bones, but they couldn’t break his spirit, which is why he refused early release when he had the chance. That’s heroism, pure and simple, and it is unimpeachable.”

If The Donald doesn’t think that that’s heroic, then what, exactly, is admirable in his eyes?

By Michael E. Miller and Fred Barbash