- The Washington Times - Monday, July 20, 2015

The White House on Monday went to bat for Sen. John McCain and suggested that real-estate mogul Donald Trump owes an apology to all military veterans.

Mr. Trump, running for president as a Republican, said over the weekend that Mr. McCain is “not a war hero.” He quickly backtracked but has refused to apologize to Mr. McCain, Arizona Republican and the party’s 2008 nominee for president.

Mr. McCain said Monday he doesn’t care about receiving a personal apology from Mr. Trump, though he suggested a broad apology to the nation’s community of military veterans is appropriate.

The Obama administration agrees with that point of view.

“Even in the midst of their competitive 2008 campaign for the White House, Sen. Obama expressed … deep respect for Sen. McCain’s heroism,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters. “The fact is, the most notable comment in this episode came from Sen. McCain himself, who I think pretty selflessly made clear he didn’t really care about an apology but that he believes our military veterans are entitled to one.”

The White House also classified Mr. Trump, who is leading in some major primary polls, as a “significant challenge” for other Republican candidates.

“There’s a spirited process that’s under way on the Republican side, and this will be a significant challenge for Republican candidates. But they’ll have to navigate their way through this process,” Mr. Earnest said.

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