GOP senator to publicly call out Trump for McCain attacks

Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohn (Johnny) Hardy IsaksonCongress punts on disaster aid amid standoff with Trump, Dems Overnight Defense: Transgender troops rally as ban nears | Trump may call more troops to border | National Guard expects 3M training shortfall from border deployment | Pentagon to find housing for 5,000 migrant children Pompeo: Russia complying with nuclear treaty that's up for renewal MORE (R-Ga.) in an interview published on Wednesday blasted President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats' CNN town halls exposed an extreme agenda Buttigieg says he doubts Sanders can win general election Post-Mueller, Trump has a good story to tell for 2020 MORE’s recent attacks on the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainWhy did Mueller allow his investigation to continue for two years? If you don't think illegal immigrants are voting for president, think again 10 factors making Russia election interference the most enduring scandal of the Obama era MORE (R-Ariz.), telling The Bulwark he plans to publicly condemn them. 

“I just want to lay it on the line, that the country deserves better, the McCain family deserves better,” Isakson told The Bulwark, a conservative website that has been critical of Trump. “I don’t care if he’s president of United States, owns all the real estate in New York, or is building the greatest immigration system in the world.”

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“When the president is saying that he doesn’t respect John McCain and he’s never going to respect John McCain and all these kids are out there listening to the president of the United States talk that way about the most decorated senator in history who is dead it just sets the worst tone possible,” Isakson told A.B. Stoddard, who wrote the piece for The Bulwark.

Trump sent a series of tweets over the weekend targeting McCain, who died of brain cancer in August.

On Monday Trump renewed the attacks during an Oval Office meeting with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, calling McCain’s vote against repealing and replacing ObamaCare “disgraceful” and adding that “he was never a fan” of the Arizona senator and never would be.

Isakson, the chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, told Stoddard he felt compelled to “elevate” McCain.

Isakson’s criticism comes after Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyGOP plots comeback in Orange County Trump's Fed pick on critics: 'They're pulling a Kavanaugh against me' Dem super PAC campaign urges Republicans to back impeachment MORE (R-Utah) took to Twitter on Tuesday to push back against Trump’s remarks.

“I can’t understand why the President would, once again, disparage a man as exemplary as my friend John McCain: heroic, courageous, patriotic, honorable, self-effacing, self-sacrificing, empathetic, and driven by duty to family, country, and God," Romney tweeted.

Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.), who was one of McCain’s closest friends in the Senate, also defended him on Twitter over the weekend. “Nothing about his service will ever be changed or diminished,” Graham tweeted.