Sen. Johnny Isakson responded during an appearance on GPB’s Political Rewind to President Donald Trump's recent attack of the late Sen. John McCain.
Isakson called the president’s remarks “deplorable.”
He said that, although he respects the office of the presidency, Trump’s comments were inappropriate and Isakson said he would continue to stand up for his late colleague and his military service.
“We have young men and women qualified to do anything in the world that, on their own, volunteer and serve this country…they’re fighting battles in lands far away," Isakson said. "They’re fighting for everything we believe in and everything we love in this country…When it comes to it, as chairman of the Veterans Committee, I’m going to stand up for veterans.”
— Robert Jimison (@RobertJimison) March 20, 2019
Trump tweeted about McCain, who died of brain cancer in August 2017, on March 16 and 17. The tweets were in reference to McCain handing over materials that aided in the FBI’s investigation into Trump and potential Russian collusion.
So it was indeed (just proven in court papers) “last in his class” (Annapolis) John McCain that sent the Fake Dossier to the FBI and Media hoping to have it printed BEFORE the Election. He & the Dems, working together, failed (as usual). Even the Fake News refused this garbage!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 17, 2019
In a press conference on Tuesday he continued the attack, calling the former senator’s vote against appealing Obamacare a “disgrace” and saying, “I was never a fan of John McCain and I never will be.”
Isakson, the chairman of the Veteran Affairs Committee and a veteran himself, said “I want to be crystal clear that we need to talk about the politics of the military in any way we want to, but we don’t talk about our veterans in any way but to brag on them for the service they render.”
McCain served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and was held as a prisoner of war for over five years, receiving a Purple Heart Award and enduring lasting disabilities due to his injuries.
“Anybody who in any way tarnishes the reputation of John McCain deserves a whipping…we owe him nothing less than the respect that he earned, and that is what I intend to give John in return for what he gave me,” Isakson said on the Senate floor after McCain’s death.
.@SenatorIsakson: "Anybody who in any way tarnishes the reputation of John McCain deserves a whipping." Also, "So I would say to the president or anybody in the world, it's time to pause and say, 'This was a great man…'" pic.twitter.com/cBrKgipa9Z
— CSPAN (@cspan) August 28, 2018
"Chuck Schumer's just playing politics," Isakson said of Chuck Schumer's tweet saying that he plans to reintroduce bill renaming Senate Russell office building after John McCain.
Other senators and politicians, like Lindsey Graham, spoke up about McCain after Trump’s tweets, but did not outwardly condemn his attacks.
Trump mocked the former presidential candidate in July 2015, calling him a loser, questioning his status as a war hero and saying “I like people who weren’t captured.”
Isakson recently received the inaugural John S. McCain Service to Country Award at the annual Voices for National Service Awards.
“[McCain] was ferocious in his commitment to his life, to his friends, to his country and to others who needed help," he said in his acceptance speech. "He meant a lot to me, and I’m incredibly honored to have earned this prestigious award named in his honor."