Trump says Sarah Huckabee Sanders is 'having a nervous breakdown' over his behavior toward John McCain after his death
- President Donald Trump reportedly joked that White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was "having a nervous breakdown," over his response to Sen. John McCain's death, Bloomberg News reported.
- Sanders reportedly stared at him after he refused to answer whether McCain would have been a better president than former President Barack Obama, who defeated McCain in the 2008 election.
- Trump says he believes he properly honored McCain following his death, according to the report.
President Donald Trump reportedly joked that White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was "having a nervous breakdown" as she stared at him when he refused to answer whether former Sen. John McCain would have been a better president than former President Barack Obama.
McCain, who died on Saturday, was the Republican presidential nominee in 2008. He lost the election to Obama."I don't want to comment on it," Trump said in response to the question, according to a Bloomberg News report published on Thursday, adding: "I have a very strong opinion."
"Maybe I'll give you that answer some day later," Trump said.
Trump also insisted that he properly honored McCain after the longtime senator and Vietnam War veteran died following a long battle with brain cancer.
The White House lowered its flags to half-staff immediately after McCain's death, but raised them back up to full staff Monday morning. After some blistering criticism from veterans groups, Trump ordered the White House flags back to half-staff.
Federal code only requires the flag to be flown at half-staff "on the day of death and following day" for a member of Congress. But traditionally, US presidents have signed proclamations for flags to remain at half-staff until a prominent US official is buried.
White House aides reportedly considered the optics of such a move, but decided to go through with it anyway.
McCain and Trump feuded for years over public policy and other matters.
In 1999, Trump downplayed McCain's military service and suggested he was considered an American hero only because he was captured and held as a prisoner of war for five years in Vietnam.
Trump repeated those remarks during his 2016 campaign.
"We had our disagreements and they were very strong disagreements," Trump said to Bloomberg. "I disagreed with many of the things that I assume he believed in."
Trump said he does not believe he failed to unite the country around McCain's death.
"No, I don't think I did at all," Trump said to Bloomberg. "I've done everything that they requested and no, I don't think I have at all.""I respect his service to the country."