Sen. John McCain

Sen. John McCain

WASHINGTON – There’s long been friction between President Donald Trump and a senior senator for the Republicans, John McCain.

It dates back at least to when Trump was seeking the GOP nomination for president and he commented that he liked military heroes who didn’t get captured by the enemy better.

McCain, of course, spent years as a POW.

But the conflict has hit new heights now, with McCain threatening subpoenas for the White House, and a prominent columnist calling on McCain to just … quit.

McCain, an Arizona Republican, Thursday expressed his sentiment about White House plans to address cyber threats from Russia.

“Do you know that for eight years we’ve been trying to get a policy? For eight years we’ve been trying to get a strategy,” said McCain, who was described by ABC as exasperated.

It came after Rob Joyce, the White House cybersecurity coordinator for Trump, who’s been in Oval Office just about nine months of those eight years, didn’t appear before Congress.

McCain ranted, “Mr. Joyce’s absence here, whose job it is to do all this, is an example of the disarray in which this whole issue rests.”

His unleashed rhetoric came only shortly after Washington Times columnist Cheryl Chumley put it bluntly: “Sen. John McCain – ya gotta quit.”

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She based that not on his outburst over cybersecurity, but his outburst only hours earlier at a reporter.

“Seriously, sorry for the brain cancer and all. But the fact that you’re still a sitting senator means you’re open to constituent accountability — and criticism,” she said.

She cited McCain’s comments to Fox News’ Peter Doocy, who had asked whether his relationship with Trump had “frayed to the point that you are not going to support anything that he comes to you and asks for.”

“Why would you say something that stupid?” came from McCain. “Why would you ask something that dumb? Huh? My job as a United States senator is [as] a senator from Arizona which I was just re-elected to. You mean that I am somehow going to behave in a way that I’m going to block everything because of some personal disagreement?”

Confided Chumley, “Ummm … yes. That’s exactly what Doocy was asking to clarify – because that’s exactly what the majority of conservatives believe.”

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The two have been in a public spat for a long time.

But it was McCain who dramatically killed with his vote a Trump-sought Obamacare reform.

And he also lashed out during a recent speech about the “half-baked nationalism,” apparently a reference to the Make America Great Again theme of President Trump.

McCain also claimed the White House was not being forthright about an attack in Niger that killed several American service members. Subpoenas are not out of the realm of possible, he pointed out.

The issue arose after Trump called the widow of a soldier to express condolences, and Florida Democrat Rep. Frederica Wilson lashed out at Trump for being “insensitive.”

She didn’t like the sentiment from the president, which apparently was that the soldier knew what he signed up for, but when the worst happens, it hurts the family anyway.

Army Sgt. La David Johnson and three other service members died in an Oct. 4 attack in Niger after 50 Islamic militants ambushed a group of American troops.

McCain, chief of the Senate’s Armed Forces Committee which has oversight of the military, followed up with a suggestion Congress should investigate Niger.

He said “no” when asked if the administration was being forthright about the ambush.

The Arizona Republican refrained from detailing about what kind of information he was looking for, saying only that he was interested in “all the specifics.”

“That’s why we’re called the Senate armed services committee. It’s because we have oversight of our military,” he said. “So we deserve to have all the information.”

McCain also sided with Democrats just a day earlier, becoming the first Republican to sign on to a draft bill that would essentially regulate Facebook.

The Honest Ad Act, proposed by Democrats Amy Klobuchar and Mark Warner, would increase the transparency of political advertisements on social media platforms

The measure would “create federal disclosure requirements for political ads sold online, including who paid for them so that they are covered by the same FEC rules as sold on TV, radio and satellite,” according to a news release.

The proposed legislation comes amid the investigations into Democratic allegations that Russia used Facebook, Twitter and Google to tilt the 2016 election towards president Trump.

On Monday, former Vice President Joe Biden, a Democrat, presented McCain an award for a lifetime of service and sacrifice to the country from the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

The 81-year-old McCain, who is battling brain cancer used his acceptance speech to launch a scathing attack on the president.

McCain questioned his patriotism and approach to foreign policy, blasting “people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems.”

“To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain ‘the last best hope of earth’ for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history,” McCain said.

While not mentioning President Trump by name, McCain blasted Trump’s emphasis on putting “America first” and praised international cooperation.

President Trump has said he may “fight back and it won’t be pretty.”

He said he was shocked McCain refused to work to fix Obamacare – after the GOP had campaigned on that for years.

McCain also is alleged to have leaked the opposition research dossier former British spy Chris Steel compiled on President Trump. The dossier made numerous unsubstantiated claims of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

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