GOP senator to publicly call out Trump for McCain attacks

Sen. Johnny IsaksonJohnny IsaksonJoe Lieberman's son running for Senate in Georgia Poll: Majority of independent voters want GOP to retain control of Senate in 2020 Embracing President Mike Pence might be GOP's best play MORE (R-Ga.) in an interview published on Wednesday blasted President TrumpDonald John TrumpPelosi arrives in Jordan with bipartisan congressional delegation Trump says his Doral resort will no longer host G-7 after backlash CNN's Anderson Cooper mocks WH press secretary over Fox News interview MORE’s recent attacks on the late Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainCummings to lie in state at the Capitol Elizabeth Warren should concern Donald Trump 'bigly' Lawmakers toast Greta Van Susteren's new show 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 RomneyErdoğan got the best of Trump, experts warn Trump tweets ad hitting Romney as 'Democrat secret asset' Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Trump insists Turkey wants cease-fire | Fighting continues in Syrian town | Pentagon chief headed to Mideast | Mattis responds to criticism from Trump 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.