Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona said on Monday that Donald Trump, the current GOP frontrunner in the presidential race who made controversial comments about McCain's time as a prisoner of war, owes an apology to POW families.
Trump sparked controversy last week when, during a campaign speech, he dismissed McCain’s longstanding reputation as a hero because he was captured in Vietnam and held as a prisoner.
“I like people who weren’t captured,” Trump said.
“When Mr. Trump says he prefers to be with people who are not captured, the great honor of my life was to be in the company of heroes,” McCain said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
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He added that because he’s in “the political arena,” he’s subject to criticism and isn't owed an apology by Trump. Other POW families, however, deserve an apology for what was said, according to McCain.
“I think the point here is that there are so many men and women who served and sacrificed — and happened to be held prisoner — and to denigrate in any way that service, I think, is offensive to veterans,” McCain said, adding that it was “totally inappropriate for Mr. Trump to say he doesn't like to be with people who are captured."
Trump criticized the media’s coverage of his comments, insisting to Today Show host Matt Lauer that he said he respected those taken prisoner in war “four times.” Trump has so far refused to apologize for his comments.