U.S.

Trump Damaging America's 'International Reputation,' Joe Biden and John McCain Said

Former Vice President Joe Biden revealed that during a recent visit to his ailing friend Republican Senator John McCain, the two conversed about how the U.S.’s “international reputation is being damaged” under President Donald Trump.

Biden, who spent several hours at McCain’s ranch in Arizona last Sunday, told The New York Times that the senator battling brain cancer “knows he’s in a very, very, very precarious situation, and yet he’s still concerned about the state of the country.”

“We talked about how our international reputation is being damaged,” Biden said in the report published Saturday, “And we talked about the need for people to stand up and speak out.”

Biden also said McCain encouraged him to “not walk away” from politics.

The vice president under Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama decided not to run in the 2016 presidential election because he and his family were grieving over their son, Beau, who died of brain cancer in May 2015.

Biden has been contemplating a 2020 presidential bid, and recently said he would make a decision by the end of 2018.

Though they are from opposing political parties, Biden and McCain became close friends over decades of traveling together abroad and the senator had a close bond with the former vice president’s sons.

By contrast, McCain’s relationship with Trump has been marked with clashes and criticism. McCain cast a decisive vote against legislation Trump pushed that was designed to effectively repeal Obamacare.

McCain in a book he co-wrote, “The Restless Wave,” scheduled to be released later this month, expressed disdain for what he perceives as Trump’s admiration for autocratic leaders, according to the Times.

“He seems uninterested in the moral character of world leaders and their regimes,” McCain wrote of Trump. “The appearance of toughness or a reality show facsimile of toughness seems to matter more than any of our values. Flattery secures his friendship, criticism his enmity.”

People close to McCain told the White House that the senator plans to invite Vice President Mike Pence, not Trump, to his funeral.