The Corner


McCain at Annapolis

John McCain, standing at right, with his squadron in 1965 (National Archives)

President Trump has been doing a lot of tweeting today — against TV programs, companies, and other things that have incurred his displeasure. These tweets make for interesting reading. One of them is this:

So it was indeed (just proven in court papers) “last in his class” (Annapolis) John McCain that sent the Fake Dossier to the FBI and Media hoping to have it printed BEFORE the Election. He & the Dems, working together, failed (as usual). Even the Fake News refused this garbage!

According to an article in the Washington Post, this tweet “contained three errors.”

McCain, a member of the Naval Academy’s class of 1958, graduated fifth from last in his class. The senator was not made aware of the Steele dossier until Nov. 18, 2016 — after Trump had won the election. And there is no evidence that McCain gave the dossier to the media.

Over the years, Donald Trump has made many claims, including about his academic prowess. McCain, however, was remarkably candid about his time at Annapolis, as about most things. Today, I’ve been thinking about something he told me in a podcast I did with him in 2015. Here it is:

I do not know anyone alive — I’ve never heard of anyone — who is as lucky as I am. I crashed airplanes. I was a terrible disciplinary problem at the Naval Academy. I managed to avoid being killed in a fire on the Forrestal. I was shot down. I had the honor of winning the nomination for the presidency of the United States. The honor of serving in the United States Senate. And now following in the footsteps of one Barry Goldwater as chairman of the Armed Services Committee. I am exuberant and so fortunate. I’m telling you, I wake up every morning and go to bed every night saying, “Thank you, God.”

McCain died last summer. He is buried at the Naval Academy, alongside his classmate and friend Admiral Chuck Larson. Their wives will join them there, when the times come.

John McCain has his fans, as President Trump has his. On one thing, both camps can agree, I think: They are about as different as two men can be. And the brawling will apparently continue, even with McCain dead and gone.

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