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

"Fox & Friends" host Brian Kilmeade said Tuesday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpKaine: Obama called Trump a 'fascist' during 2016 campaign Kaine: GOP senators should 'at least' treat Trump trial with seriousness of traffic court Louise Linton, wife of Mnuchin, deletes Instagram post in support of Greta Thunberg MORE's approval would get "extremely formidable" heading into 2020 because critical GOP senators such as the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainConservative activist wins contest to represent New Hampshire at Republican National Convention Schiff shows clip of McCain in Trump impeachment trial Martha McSally fundraises off 'liberal hack' remark to CNN reporter 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 MuellerSchiff: Trump acquittal in Senate trial would not signal a 'failure' Jeffries blasts Trump for attack on Thunberg at impeachment hearing Live coverage: House Judiciary to vote on impeachment after surprise delay 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 ConwayGeorge Conway: Witness missing from impeachment trial is Trump Democrats sharpen case on second day of arguments Trump: Obama administration withheld foreign aid too 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.”