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John Rutherford breaks with Donald Trump: ‘John McCain was a war hero’

“I’m very proud of his service.”

U.S. Congressman John Rutherford on Thursday sided with departed Sen. John McCain over President Donald Trump after recent comments.

One day earlier, the President lamented in a speech that he “didn’t get a thank you” from McCain after having “given him the funeral he wanted.”

Excoriation for the President’s comments has come from surprising quarters, including Republican Senators.

Rutherford has aligned with the President on most issues, but broke with Trump regarding the late Arizona Senator.

“Sen. McCain was a war hero. I’m not going to, particularly now that the man has passed, address issues of his politics. But as a man, I’m very proud of his service,” Rutherford said.

The Congressman suggested that a root of the Trump/McCain animus was that the Christopher Steele dossier on the President was “delivered to the FBI by John McCain.”

“Whether he knew the dossier was not factual or not,” Rutherford said, “I have no idea.”

“McCain delivered that to the FBI without vetting it,” Rutherford added.

Trump’s animosity to McCain predates the dubious dossier. As far back as 2015, the President lambasted McCain as a “loser,” questioning how he could be a “war hero” given that he was “captured.”

However, revelations that McCain leaked the documents did irk the President anew.

“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,” Trump tweeted Sunday. “He & the Dems, working together, failed (as usual). Even the Fake News refused this garbage!”

The Congressman, meanwhile, is “very confident” in the Robert Mueller investigation of the President, with trust both for Mueller and new Attorney General William Barr.

“I’m confident they are going to find justice in this case,” Rutherford said, including “going back and looking at the misdeeds of this cabal at the top of the FBI and the AG.”

“I’ve got a lot of issues … it looked like a bloodless coup. First they were going to prevent him from becoming President, then when he became President they moved to take them out,” Rutherford said, “and whatever comes out, comes out.”

Rutherford maintained that he is “not concerned” about the ongoing investigation previously.

Rutherford was in Jacksonville to highlight the return of a bill that would help veterans return to the workforce.

The Veterans Armed for Success Act, which passed the House last year, creates a $10 million grant matching program for organizations, such as Operation New Uniform in Jacksonville, that provide job readiness for veterans and their spouses.

U.S. Congressman Al Lawson co-introduced the bill. Also co-sponsoring: Republicans Mike Waltz and Ted Yoho.

The bill ran out of time in the Senate, Rutherford said, but he’s determined for that not to happen again.

He is hopeful that Sen. Rick Scott will carry the legislation.

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades. Gancarski has been a correspondent for since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at

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