Veterans Urge John McCain To Retract Trump Endorsement

| by Sarah Zimmerman
Senator John McCainSenator John McCain

A number of veterans stormed John McCain's Washington office to demand he reconsider his endorsement of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

The group, led by Navy veteran Nate Terani, delivered a petition of 100,000 signatures urging McCain and other GOP heavyweights to disavow Trump, according to The Huffington Post.

Terani and other vets around the country were appalled by the way Trump mocked the parents of Humayun Khan, a U.S. soldier who died in Iraq. 

"This is one in a long line of painful examples which make it clear that Trump cannot be trusted to honor the women and men serving this nation in the armed services," the petition, started by Operation Enduring Freedom veteran Perry O'Brien, reads. "If Republican leaders do not outright disavow Trump's dangerous rhetoric, they are not only endorsing Donald Trump's candidacy, but also his attacks on veterans."

Trump himself has mocked McCain's status as a veteran in July 2015, saying first that "he's not a war hero," and then that "he's a war hero because he was captured," according to CBS News.

Veterans have also made a similar appeal to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. Democratic Reps. and veterans Ted Lieu, Ruben Gallego and Seth Moulton sent a letter to Ryan saying they "are horrified by Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s slander of parents whose son died serving our country..." 

"...We respectfully request that you follow what we believe your heart is telling you and withdraw your endorsement of him now," the letter continued.

Nonetheless, neither McCain nor Ryan have withdrawn their endorsement of Trump. McCain supporters believe their petition will get through to him, as he has a reputation as being a "maverick" and independent thinker, according to The Huffington Post.

"John McCain is a leader in the Republican Party,” said Alexander McCoy, a former Marine. "He’s known as someone who stands up for his values, who stands up for integrity, and puts his patriotism and the values of America before party. He’s someone that Donald Trump has personally insulted. We hope that he listens to us today. We believe that will be a large indication of whether he stands with veterans.”

Sources: The Huffington Post (2), CBS News, Perry O'Brien/MoveOn Petitions / Photo Credit: Rona Proudfoot/Flickr

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