- The Washington Times - Monday, July 20, 2015

Businessman and 2016 GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump says he doesn’t need a lecture from any of his fellow presidential contenders in the wake of his recent comments about Sen. John McCain of Arizona, that the media is distorting his words, and that Mr. McCain “has failed the state of Arizona and the country.”

“The reality is that John McCain the politician has made America less safe, sent our brave soldiers into wrong-headed foreign adventures, covered up for President Obama with the VA scandal and has spent most of his time in the Senate pushing amnesty,” Mr. Trump wrote in an opinion piece for USA Today. “He would rather protect the Iraqi border than Arizona’s.”

Mr. Trump wrote that legislation shepherded by Mr. McCain and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont to overhaul the VA system served to “cover up the scandal” and that Mr. McCain “has abandoned our veterans. I will fight for them.”

The two got into it last week after Mr. McCain had told The New Yorker that Mr. Trump “fired up the crazies” with a recent rally in Arizona. At an event in Iowa over the weekend, Mr. Trump said Mr. McCain, who spent more than five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, is a war hero because “he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured, OK?”

Mr. Trump later clarified that he does believe Mr. McCain is a war hero but that he doesn’t owe Mr. McCain an apology, which many Republicans are calling for.

“A number of my competitors for the Republican nomination have no business running for president. I do not need to be lectured by any of them,” Mr. Trump wrote. “Many are failed politicians or people who would be unable to succeed in the private sector. Some, however, I have great respect for.”

Mr. Trump, who received student deferments and a medical deferment for a bone spur during the war, wrote that his record of veteran support is “well-documented” and that he served as co-chairman of the New York Vietnam Veterans Memorial Commission and “contributed over $1 million so our warriors can be honored in New York City with a proper memorial.”

“I also helped finance and served as the grand marshal of the 1995 Nation’s Day Parade, which honored over 25,000 veterans. It was one of the biggest parades in the history of New York City, and I was very proud to have made it possible,” Mr. Trump wrote.

He said a Trump administration “will provide the finest universal access health care for our veterans” and while VA hospitals are “outdated dumps,” he “will build the finest and most modern veterans hospitals in the world.”

“I will continue to fight to secure our border and take care of our veterans because these steps are vital to make America great again!” he wrote.

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