The response by the co-host of The View followed Trump’s reaction to the release this week of declassified text messages about the investigation into claims of Russia collusion in his 2016 election campaign.
The messages included an exchange from January 2017 between ex-FBI agent Peter Strzok and the woman he was having an affair with, Lisa Page, then an FBI lawyer.
The messages suggested that it was John McCain who gave a dossier about the investigation to The Washington Post’s Carl Bernstein. McCain’s aide David Kramer had testified he had leaked the anti-Trump dossier to journalists including Bernstein.
On Thursday, Trump tweeted an article by conservative news website Breitbart about the revelations and took a swipe at the late Arizona senator.
Repeating the Breitbart headline, Trump wrote: “New Peter Strzok Texts Undermine Official Narrative on Start of ‘Russia Collusion’ Investigation,” before adding, “Check out last in his class John McCain, one of the most overrated people in D.C.”
But Meghan McCain hit back, defending her father with an equally personal attack on Trump in a message that was shared and liked thousands of times.
She wrote: “Two years after he died, you still obsess over my dad. It kills you that no one will ever love you or remember you like they loved and remember him.
“He served his country with honor, you have disgraced the office of the presidency,” she wrote, “You couldn’t even pull it out in Arizona.”
President-elect Joe Biden became the first Democrat in 24 years to win Arizona, although Trump has disputed the results in the historically Republican state.
Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani alleged its voting process was marred by fraud and asked members of the State Legislature to disregard the results. This was rejected and Republican Governor Doug Ducey certified the state’s election results.
Even after his death in 2018 to cancer, Trump has continued to insult McCain, including criticizing his military record in the Vietnam war. In September, Trump tweeted: “I was never a big fan of John McCain” and said that he “disagreed with him on many things.”
An op-ed in the Arizona Republic on Friday mocked Trump’s constant swipes at the late senator, who is held in high esteem in the Grand Canyon State.
“If he were alive, I’m certain McCain would be doing everything he could to deal with the ravages caused by COVID-19,” the op-ed said, adding, “rather than attempt to insult the man’s memory, Trump should ask McCain’s advice. After all, Mr. President, he’s right there, inside your skull.” Newsweek has contacted the White House for comment.