Lindsey Graham: Trump's Criticism of McCain 'Pisses Me Off' and His Response to His Death Was 'Disturbing'

Republican Senator and Donald Trump ally Lindsey Graham was initially "disturbed" by the president's response to Senator John McCain's passing, adding Thursday morning that anytime the president mentions McCain it "pisses me off to no end."

"It bothers me greatly when the president says things about John McCain," Graham told CBS This Morning in a TV interview. "It pisses me off to no end, and I let the president know it."

Graham was referring to a phone call he had with the president following Graham's impassioned tribute speech he made on the Senate floor Wednesday in honor of McCain.

The longtime Arizona senator died Saturday after a lengthy battle with an aggressive form of brain cancer.

"The way he's handled the passing of [McCain] was just disturbing," said Graham, who has been a loyal Trump supporter and key ally to the president.

"I am not going to give up on the idea of working with this president," the South Carolina senator said. "The best way I can honor John McCain is helping my country. I am going to do everything I can to help president Trump and when he's wrong I'll say so."

As bipartisan tributes poured in following McCain's death, bipartisan criticism poured in on Trump's silence and lack of praise.

The president reportedly canceled a prepared statement by White House staff to honor McCain's death and his public service to the country. The draft called the 81-year-old senator and former prisoner of war a "hero," according to The Washington Post. In July 2015, Trump said McCain was "not a war hero" and that he liked "people that weren't captured."

Instead, Trump issued a two-sentence tweet shortly after his death.

"My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!"

Trump initially had the White House flags lowered to half-staff for just two days, while the Capitol building's flag remained at half-staff. After increasing condemnation from both sides of the aisle, the president ordered the re-lowering of the flags on Monday, and for them to remain that way until McCain's funeral and interment on Sunday.

Trump offered a longer statement with the order to re-lower the flags, but still mentioned little of McCain's decades-long public service and lasting impact that he seemed to have on people from both sides of the political spectrum.

"Despite our differences on policy and politics, I respect Senator John McCain's service to our country and, in his honor, have signed a proclamation to fly the flag of the United States at half-staff until the day of his interment," Trump said in a statement released by the White House.

Prior to his death, McCain reportedly said he did not want Trump to attend his funeral. He also requested that former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush deliver his eulogies. The request spoke volumes to McCain's relationship with and respect for Obama and Bush, both of whom he lost presidential bids to.

Lindsey Graham: Trump's Criticism of McCain 'Pisses Me Off' and His Response to His Death Was 'Disturbing' | U.S.
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