GOP presidential candidate Donald TrumpDonald TrumpDeputy AG: DOJ investigating fake Trump electors Former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz elected to Baseball Hall of Fame Overnight Health Care — Senators unveil pandemic prep overhaul MORE on Friday defended his supporters from Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainBiden's year two won't be about bipartisanship Biden: A good coach knows when to change up the team These Senate seats are up for election in 2022 MORE (Ariz.), saying his attacks on the right will cost him in his campaign for reelection next year.
McCain said in an interview published Thursday that the New York business mogul had “fired up the crazies” with his anti-immigration rhetoric.
“They weren’t crazies — these were great Americans,” Trump responded on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“And when he calls them crazies, I think he will lose the primary,” he added. “I think he will lose the primary. If the right person runs against, they’ll beat him in the primary.”
State Sen. Kelli Ward announced on Tuesday she is McCain’s second Republican primary challenger. She promised immigration will be a major theme of her Senate campaign.
Trump said that, unlike McCain, he’s “a loyalist” who won’t back away from principles or allies.
“I’m a person who if someone sticks with me I’m with that person,” he said. “And John McCain was very disloyal to me.”
“I supported John McCain,” Trump added of the senator's 2008 GOP presidential bid.
“He let us down because he lost, but you know it was a hard one after what happened with the economy.”
Trump also addressed Thursday’s mass shooting in Chattanooga, Tenn., calling on the military to reevaluate its policy on gun-free zones after four Marines died in the attack.
“We have to start doing something with these gun-free zones,” Trump said. “They were sitting there and they were just targets for this madman.”
Police confirmed the gunman’s identity on Thursday as Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, 24, reportedly a naturalized citizen originally from Kuwait.
Trump expressed disbelief on Friday that no noticed any bizarre behavior from Abdulazeez before his attack.
“I can’t believe he was growing up in an area where people didn’t see him going off the wire,” he said.
“I expect you’ll see more and more of it,” Trump added of attacks like Chattanooga. “It’s a very tough situation for the country.”
Abdulazeez reportedly died after killing four people and wounding three others after opening fire on two military facilities in Chattanooga Thursday morning.
Reports emerged that evening he had blogged about Islam before the attacks.