President Trump didn't mention U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona during his speech at the Ohio Republican Party's annual state dinner in Columbus on Friday night, hours after the family of the ailing Republican said he had chosen to discontinue medical treatment for brain cancer.
The White House didn't address McCain's announcement and the president didn't make any references to the senator. Trump has frequently criticized McCain, the party's presidential nominee in 2008, for voting against a 2017 plan in the Senate to replace the Affordable Care Act. The two Republican leaders have had a strained relationship dating back to 2015, when Trump suggested the Vietnam veteran and prisoner of war was not a war hero. McCain has been critical of Trump even while undergoing medical treatment in Arizona, slamming Trump's summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin as a "tragic mistake."
Trump branded Democrats as "left-wing haters and radicals" who are trying to "tear down our institutions." He also says they're "nasty." Trump unleashed the string of insults in his speech, meant to help unite fractious state Republicans heading into the November midterm elections. Trump says that with Democrats, "it's always negative, nasty, the way they come after me." Polls show that large majorities of Democrats disapprove of Trump's performance in office, but he says they need to get over it and accept that he's president. Adds Trump: "We won the election. We're going to win again in 2020. ... These are nasty people." Trump lost the popular vote in 2016 but won the Electoral College vote.
Trump also hinted at changes coming to the Justice Department. He said some federal agents are biased against him, and questioned why they are not under investigation.
Those agents include former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, former FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI director James Comey. Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani says the president is considering firing Attorney General Jeff Sessions, but he urged Trump to wait until the end of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham said this week that Sessions would likely be fired after the midterm elections.