Everybody who’s anybody in American politics spent Saturday mourning the late Senator John McCain at a memorial service held at the Washington National Cathedral.
Donald Trump wasn’t invited. Literally.
Personal invitations were extended to former presidents Obama and Bush, but not to the man who currently occupies the Oval Office. Trump repeatedly maligned the Senator while he was alive, mocking him at rallies and, in an infamous 2015 interview, disparaging his military record.
Trump was not-so-subtly targeted by speakers at the Saturday service for McCain, whose daughter Meghan delivered the following sharp rebuke of the President’s trademark populist slogan during an impassioned speech:
George Bush quite literally called Trump a “bigot” and a “swaggering despot”:
For his part, the real President of the United States said this in his eulogy for the Senator:
“[The] entire McCain memorial – from the words of Lieberman, Kissinger, Bush, Obama and others, to the applause they receive – is a giant subtweet against Trump”, Financial Times U.S. correspondent Edward Luce wrote, adding that “there has never been quite such a spectacle against a sitting president.”
Speaking of a certain “sitting president”, Trump spent Saturday playing golf at his club in Virginia. And while he didn’t manage to saying anything about McCain between holes, he did find plenty of time to shriek at one of America’s mortal geopolitical enemies … Canada.
“There is no political necessity to keep Canada in the new NAFTA deal [and] if we don’t make a fair deal for the U.S. after decades of abuse, Canada will be out”, Trump tweeted, in the middle of McCain’s memorial.
“Congress should not interfere with these negotiations or I will simply terminate NAFTA entirely and we will be far better off”, he added, before lambasting the trade agreement in a truly absurd screed as follows:
Remember, NAFTA was one of the WORST Trade Deals ever made. The U.S. lost thousands of businesses and millions of jobs. We were far better off before NAFTA – should never have been signed. Even the Vat Tax was not accounted for. We make new deal or go back to pre-NAFTA!
On Friday, trade negotiations between the U.S. and Canada broke down following a week of intense wrangling. The Trump administration apparently believed that striking a bilateral deal with Mexico on Monday would force Justin Trudeau to relent. That might have worked, but after the Toronto Star leaked disparaging comments from Trump’s Thursday interview with Bloomberg, the mood soured.
“[I] still can’t believe that Bloomberg violated a firm OFF THE RECORD statement”, Trump shouted on Friday evening. “Will they put out an apology?”
I can answer that: “No.”
Just like Trump won’t apologize for spending Saturday screaming at America’s closest ally while the rest of Washington mourns the death of a veteran, a Senator and a candidate for the same office that Trump is now disgracing on a daily basis.