Former first lady Melania Trump shared her husband’s low opinion of the late Republican Sen. John McCain’s military record.

She agreed with then-candidate Donald Trump when he said during a 2016 GOP primary event in Iowa that the Arizona senator was “not a war hero,” according to Trump’s former campaign manager Cory Lewandowski.

Lewandowski, who spoke to Insider as part of an oral history project on Trump’s takeover of the GOP, said he and Trump met up with Melania Trump in New Jersey as political pundits and conservative talk-show hosts were saying Trump had to apologize. He thought the comment would end Trump’s campaign.

“As we walked in the door, Mrs. Trump was waiting for us,” Lewandowski said. “She said: ‘You’re right. John McCain isn’t a war hero. What he has done for the veterans has been shameful.'”

Michael Cohen, who worked during the 2016 campaign as Trump’s personal attorney, acknowledged to Insider as part of the oral history project that Melania Trump wasn’t shy about sharing her thoughts to her husband.

“Melania played a very limited role during the campaign not believing Donald would actually win,” Cohen said. “However, when directly asked for her opinion on a matter by Donald, she offered it readily.”

A spokesperson for Melania Trump did not respond to a request for comment.

Trump attacked McCain in July 2015 during the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, in the first of several moments when it looked like Trump’s campaign was over before it had even really begun. McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, had been a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

“He’s not a war hero,” Trump told the moderator Frank Luntz. “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

Trump’s gripes about McCain continued after his death on August 25, 2018. Trump was not invited to the funeral, although former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush both delivered eulogies.

When McCain died, Melania Trump tweeted, “Our thoughts, prayers and deepest sympathy to the McCain Family. Thank you Senator McCain for your service to the nation.”

A day later, her husband broke his silence on McCain’s death and tweeted, “My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!”

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22 thoughts on “Melania Trump agreed with her husband that ‘John McCain isn’t a war hero’”
  1. Getting captured don’t make you a “War Hero” I have had friends that served in World War Two that were captured during the battle of the bulge and fought until their ammo ran out and they themselves did not consider themselves war heros

  2. Once a traitor, always a traitor, song=bird McStain was exactly that,and proved it for many years, he was the biggest rhino in the party ,besides romney/assinger. Thousands of vietnam verterans felt the same way, mcstain was an embarrassment.

  3. I am sorry but McCain wasn’t a war hero.
    When brake torquing his jet on deck causing the 1 ton bomb to dislodge killing over 100 of your fellow soldiers – that is not ‘friendly fire’. That is stupidity.
    When being returned after being captured by the enemy 10 pounds heavier than your weight at your last flight. That is a vacation.
    Other POWs were returned as mere skin and bones.
    It can only make you wonder why he (and John Kerry) worked as hard in 1991 to NOT bring America’s MIAs home.

  4. Good for you Mrs. Trump!! As far as whether McCain was a war hero or not? I wouldn’t touch that with a “ten foot pole”!

  5. Being one of the many who did not ride a desk in Vietnam but, an infantrymen who with others fought our way through the jungle I agree John McCain was no hero. Because his father was the Admiral in charge of U.S. forces in the Pacific during the Vietnam conflict. John McCain’s undistorted history shows how he received preferential treatment even while a POW because of who his father was. On the day he was shot down, he was late taking off for a scheduled bombing run over Hanoi so, the other planes had bombed and left the skies over Hanoi and he the Johnny-come-lately flew over an already bombed and prepared Hanoi! I once spoke with a preacher who called McCain a war hero, having bee up close as an infantryman, I asked just how someone in a plane thousands of feet above the people he was bombing qualify as a hero???? He was shot down due to his own fault, he was late for a mission and, for him it was probably a regular problem, unreliability, he was relying on his father’s rank, position and connections to keep him out of trouble!!!! Other prisoners reported on his special treatment while a POW!!!! I got no answer!!!!

    Nuff Said!!!!

  6. I am a Vietnam Veteran, And from what McCain did on the aircraft carrier and the other Prisoners he was with he is not a hero, But because his father and grandfather were high ranking Navy he did whatever he wanted and got a free pass

  7. Why would anyone care about Melania Trump’s opinion on who is a hero, she married a draft dodger. She knows nothing about heroism.

  8. Better to leave such opinions and commentary silent – regardless of their merits or not. There is no ligititmate purpose for such and it makes future dealings with others difficult (read Dwight D Eisenhower memoirs and philosophies)

  9. Not sure why this news is important now? Regardless, glad to see Melania is aware John as well as his father who was instrumental in the cover up of the U.S.S. Liberty are neither war hero’s or Patriot’s of any kind!

  10. SHE IS TOTALLY RIGHT! HE SOLD OUT HIS FELLOW PRISONERS OF WAR IN NAM CAUSING MANY DEATHS FOR SQUEELING ON THE MIITARY TACTICS BEING USED AGAINST NAM ENEMY!

  11. Whether or not McCain was a war hero makes no difference when offering Condolences to the family. They lost a loved one and people need to be Respectful.

    However, regarding McCain’s Military actions being caught and put in a Prisoner Camp, I can say that several of the comments I read from other prisoners at that time showed that McCain got preferential treatment over the rest of the Prisoners and that angered many of them! They did NOT like McCain and stopped standing up/defending him!

    My question is “Why did McCain get preferential treatment? What was he telling the enemy when they requested his presence? And, “What did the other prisoners see McCain do that turned them against him?

    Find those answers and you’ll know exactly what kind of Military Officer he really was. I have my doubts about a high standing Military Hero after reading many stories from the other prisoner’s mouths…McCain just didn’t have that in him.

  12. i metJOHN MC CAIN IN PRESCOTT AZ. AT A TOWN HALL MEETING HE WAS SHAKING HANDS & TAKING PICTURES WITH HIS CONSTITUANTS, MY DAUGHTER & I WERE AT THE END OF THE LINE. HE TOOK A PICTURE WITH HER.I STARTED TO TELL HIM I HAD MOVED FROM CALIF. HE SAID HE HATED CALIFORNIANS! ABRUPTLEY HE TURNED AWAY & SAID I HATE CALIFORNIANS !!!! IWAS FOR HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 HOW RUDE &HE WAS A BULLY.WE TALKED WITH CINDY ON THE STEPS. SHE WAS BEAUTIFUL & CHARMING!!!! TOO BAD CINDY & MEGAN NEVER EXPERIENCED THIS SIDE OF HIM. THIS DOES WIN YOU NEW VOTERS. IT IS TOO BAD THAT CINDY IS SO IGNORANT THAT CINDYHAS GIVEN UP HER INTEGRITY FOR MARXIST DEMOCRATS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. How much do we know of his time in inactivity..What was his mental state after release.and other captors reflections on him.?

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