“I sat on that stage between Bernie and John McCain, and John McCain kept reciting to me names of dictators during that speech, because he knew more than any of us what we were facing as a nation,” she said. “He understood it. He knew because he knew this man more than any of us did.”
Tim Hogan, communications director for Klobuchar’s presidential campaign, told HuffPost in an emailed statement that “Senator Klobuchar had a long-time friendship with Senator McCain, she has defended him against President Trump’s attacks in the past, and she has deep respect for his family.”
“While she was simply sharing a memory, she continues to believe that the best stories about Senator McCain are not about the views he had about President Trump: they are about McCain’s own valor and heroism,” Hogan said.
McCain and Trump had a contentious relationship for years, with McCain, the 2008 Republican nominee for president, refusing to support Trump in the 2016 campaign. As a candidate and later as president, Trump has attacked McCain repeatedly, continuing even after his death in August 2018 at age 81.
While McCain was alive, Trump lambasted him for things like voting to kill an Obamacare repeal bill in the Senate and being captured while serving as a pilot in Vietnam. As recently as this March, Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that he “was never a fan of John McCain and never will be.”