'Fox & Friends' host says Trump approval will get stronger with McCain, Flake gone

"Fox & Friends" host Brian Kilmeade said Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpBusiness, ballots and battling opioids: Why the Universal Postal Union benefits the US Sanders supporters cry foul over Working Families endorsement of Warren California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth MORE's approval would get "extremely formidable" heading into 2020 because critical GOP senators such as the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCain The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation Biden's debate performance renews questions of health At debate, Warren and Buttigieg tap idealism of Obama, FDR MORE (Ariz.) are "basically gone."

"In terms of [Trump's] approval rating, it’s around 43 percent," Kilmeade said on "Fox & Friends," before predicting that Trump's popularity could shoot up after the full report from special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation Trump calls for probe of Obama book deal MORE's Russia investigation is released. 


Kilmeade added that “barring anything unforeseeable," Trump's support would be solid heading into the 2020 election. 

“He will be extremely formidable going in because the Jeff Flakes and the John McCains, and sadly in John McCain’s case, that are pushing against the president, basically are gone," Kilmeade said. 

Flake, a former GOP senator from Arizona, did not run for reelection last year and was a repeated critic of Trump's. McCain, who spoke out against Trump's rhetoric and policies many times, died of brain cancer last August. 

The comments from Kilmeade came just weeks after Trump renewed his attacks against the late senator. Trump went after McCain several times in late March, calling his 2017 vote against repealing ObamaCare “disgraceful” and saying that he would "never" be a fan. 

He also spent about five minutes slamming McCain while talking to workers at a tank factory in Lima, Ohio. 

"I gave him the kind of funeral that he wanted, which as president I had to approve. I don’t care about this. I didn't get 'thank you.' That's OK," Trump said at one point. "We sent him on the way, but I wasn’t a fan of John McCain."

Kilmeade said at the time that Trump's attacks against McCain were uncalled for. 

“The problem is he swapped his own message by going after George ConwayGeorge Thomas ConwayJoe Walsh 'honored' to have George Conway as informal adviser in challenge to Trump Scaramucci says 25th Amendment should be considered to remove Trump, citing 'full-blown insanity' Trump takes aim at media after 'hereby' ordering US businesses out of China MORE and in that speech inexplicably segueing to go after John McCain,” Kilmeade said on "Fox & Friends" the day after the speech. “It makes absolutely no sense.”