Trump rips McCain, says he gave Steele dossier to FBI for 'very evil purposes'

President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE in an interview broadcast Friday criticized the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainCindy McCain says no one in Republican Party carries 'voice of reason' after husband's death Anti-gun violence organization endorses Kelly's Senate bid McCain's family, McCain Institute to promote #ActsOfCivility in marking first anniversary of senator's death MORE (R-Ariz.) for giving the FBI a controversial dossier "for very evil purposes," keeping up a weeklong series of criticisms of the former senator that has roiled the Republican Party.

Trump's latest fight with McCain, which began over the weekend and almost seven months after McCain's death, has centered on the president's seemingly festering resentment that McCain gave to the FBI a dossier of unverified claims about Trump and Russia that had been compiled by a former British spy named Christopher Steele. 

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“If you realize, about three days ago it came out that his main person gave to the FBI the fake news dossier. It was a fake and a fraud, it was paid for by Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonThe Memo: Polls flash warning signs for Trump Polls suggest Sanders may be underestimated 10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall MORE and the Democrats. They gave it to John McCain, who gave it to the FBI for very evil purposes. That’s not good,” the president told Maria Bartiromo of Fox Business in the interview aired Friday. 

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party's 2016 presidential nominee, and the Democratic National Committee tapped Washington firm Fusion GPS, which then turned to Steele, to conduct research about President Trump’s connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin in 2016.

Trump also ripped into McCain for his vote in 2017 against GOP legislation to repeal ObamaCare. 

“He was horrible what he did with repeal and replace. What he did to the Republican Party and to the nation and to sick people who could have had great health care was not good. So I’m not a fan of John McCain, and that’s fine,” he said.

A number of Republican senators have defended McCain and criticized Trump, though many others have refrained from direct criticism of the president.

The president insisted his beef with the deceased senator was started by the media.

“I didn’t bring this up, you just brought it up,” he told Bartiromo. “When they ask me the question, I answer the question. But you people bring it up, I don’t bring it up. I’m not a fan.”