Trump and Putin - Best Friends Forever
2018-08-30 14:16:27 UTC
John McCains dislike of President Donald Trump wasnt hidden. But in death,
the long-time Senator from Arizona has made sure his attitude wont be
forgotten. Months ago, he asked a Russian dissident, Vladimir Kara-Murza, to
be one of his pallbearers. Kara-Murza said he immediately agreed. He told
Politico, I was speechless and heartbroken, close to tears at that moment.
McCain died of causes related to cancer on August 25.
An implacable and long-term foe of Russia under Putin, McCain was called by
Kremlin-affiliated media an implacable enemy of Russia after his death.
Kara-Murza and McCain were brought together starting in 2010 through
connections to Boris Nemtsov, a Putin critic once in the government, who was
shot to death near the Kremlin in 2015, in what has widely been seen as a
Kara-Murza chairs Open Russia, a pro-democracy group. He has twice been
hospitalized for poisoning, both times slipping into a coma and experiencing
organ failure. While he lay in a coma for a second time, Trump said in an
unrelated interview that he respected Putin and tried to make an equivalency
between Putin and America: There are a lot of killers. You think our
countrys so innocent?
On the Senate floor, McCain said in response that Kara-Murza knew that Putin
is a killer. Vladimir knew that there was no moral equivalence between the
United States and Putins Russia. He called Putin a butcher and thug and
McCain also requested that two previous presidents deliver eulogies, George
W. Bush and Barack Obama, despite having little relationship with Obama, and
after bitter acrimony with Bush in the 2000 election. McCain made it clear
privately he didnt want Trump to attend.
The Arizona senator also had a former campaign manager deliver a statement
that McCain had written to be read after his death. In those remarks, McCain
said, Do not despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the
promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here.
Trump, meanwhilein initially delaying honoring McCain with a statement and
keeping the White House flag at half staffhas faced widespread criticism
from veterans, centrist Republicans, and even religious and hard-right
pundits and politicians.