John McCain’s daughter reveals a surprising phone call from President Trump

February 12, 2018

John McCain’s daughter reveals a surprising phone call from President Trump Rena Schild /

Sen. John McCain was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer in July of 2017, and since then, political observers have wondered how long he’ll be in politics. But despite his declining health, the senator has made himself a name on Capitol Hill as a staunch opponent of Donald Trump — and the president hasn’t taken kindly to that.

In a recent interview, however, the senator’s daughter, Meghan McCain, said she doesn’t expect the president to continue tweeting about her father. Speaking to Politico, McCain said that President Trump called her late last fall to tell her that he would “back off” her father amid his declining health.

Pulling Punches?

Meghan McCain said that even after months of criticizing her father on issues including healthcare reform, Trump decided to tone down the rhetoric. She told Politico:

I don’t believe he would go there again. I don’t think at this point in his administration it would be beneficial to him in any way.

McCain added that she was hurt by Trump’s previous comments, in which he mocked McCain’s physical disabilities due to the senator’s time as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam era.

“I don’t think he has obviously attacked him in a while, but when the news came out that he was apparently, allegedly making physical mockeries of my father’s war injuries,” the senator’s daughter said. “I was deeply hurt by it.”

Trump reaching out to the senator’s daughter behind the scenes is potentially indicative of a more sensitive president than is typically seen on social media and in public appearances. During his presidential campaign, Trump said Sen. McCain was “not a war hero.”

For his part, Sen. McCain has been intensely critical of the White House and the Trump agenda for the last year. In a February 2017 op-ed penned soon after Trump’s inauguration, Michael R. Gordon from The New York Times even called the senator, “Critic in Chief.”

Going Forward

Sen. McCain is currently staying in Arizona, having not returned to Washington after the holiday break. His daughter told Politico that he has stayed home because “everybody is worried” he will catch this year’s deadly flu with his compromised immune system.

She claims, however, that his health is “very good,” and that he has managed to stage “this really incredible comeback,” that she says means “a very high likelihood that he will come back to D.C. at some point.”

“I’m not misrepresenting,” she insisted. “He’s doing really well right now.”

Meanwhile, Sen. McCain continues to work from his Arizona home, engaging constituents on social media and even working on legislation, including a bipartisan immigration bill with Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.) that has so far failed to gain the support of the president.

But if Trump is true to his word, there won’t be any personal attacks on Sen. McCain showing up on the president’s Twitter. For now, at least, he’s letting the senator focus on what’s most important — his health.


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Kit Perez

Kit Perez is a Conservative Institute contributor. She is an intelligence analyst with a dual specialty in counterintelligence and HUMINT. She writes on national security, tech, and privacy issues. Kit has a B.A. in Counterintelligence and an M.A. in Intelligence Studies from American Military University.