A former campaign aide to John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMeghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' Grant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Will Trump choose megalomania over country? MORE said Wednesday that the late GOP senator would be “very happy” to see that President TrumpDonald TrumpSix big off-year elections you might be missing Twitter suspends GOP Rep. Banks for misgendering trans health official Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' MORE is “still pissed at him” amid the president’s renewed attacks.
“For me, I stay out of it,” Ford O’Connell, who served as McCain’s director of rural outreach for his 2008 presidential campaign, told Hill.TV. “But I also understand where Trump is coming from — I don’t always agree with his methodology, but I do see why he’s so hacked off at John McCain.”
“John McCain did not like Trump and he made it known and I’m sure that John McCain in his death would be very happy to see Trump is still pissed off at him,” O’Connell added.
Trump in recent days has renewed his attacks on McCain, who died in August following a battle with brain cancer.
In a series of tweets over the weekend, the president took a swipe at the late GOP senator, citing a dossier of unverified allegations about Trump's ties to Russia. Trump accused him without evidence of sending the dossier to media organizations "to have it printed BEFORE the election."
Trump also erroneously claimed that McCain was "last in his class" at the U.S. Naval Academy.
Despite criticism from fellow Republicans, Trump later doubled-down on his remarks, telling reporters on Tuesday that he was “never” a fan of the Arizona Republican, and called his 2017 vote against repealing ObamaCare “disgraceful.”
Still, O’Connell argued that despite the two figures' rocky political relationship, they have both made the party stronger in their own ways.
“I’m one of the few people who’s a John McCain supported and a Donald Trump supporter, and a lot people don’t see that squaring — I disagree,” he told Hill.TV.
“John McCain taught the Republican Party honor, Donald Trump taught us how to win.”