Donald Trump Uses Sarah Palin Endorsement to Take Swipe at John McCain

Donald Trump used his endorsement of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's congressional run to once again attack her 2008 presidential running mate, John McCain.

While showing his support for Palin as she attempts to win the Alaska congressional seat left vacant by the death of Don Young, Trump criticized McCain, who died in August 2018 of a brain tumor, and his presidential bid.

In his endorsement of Palin, Trump described the former Republican vice presidential candidate as a "wonderful patriot" before adding it's "my turn" to publicly back her as she did for him during his 2016 presidential campaign.

"Sarah has been a champion for Alaska values, Alaska energy, Alaska jobs, and the great people of Alaska. She was one of the most popular Governors because she stood up to corruption in both State Government and the Fake News Media," Trump said before attacking the late Arizona senator.

"Sarah lifted the McCain presidential campaign out of the dumps despite the fact that she had to endure some very evil, stupid, and jealous people within the campaign itself. They were out to destroy her, but she didn't let that happen.

"Sarah Palin is tough and smart and will never back down, and I am proud to give her my Complete and Total Endorsement, and encourage all Republicans to unite behind this wonderful person and her campaign to put America First," Trump added.

Trump was widely criticized for continuing to attack and attempt to tarnish McCain for several months after his death.

In a series of tweets in 2019, Trump hit out at McCain for voting against repealing Obamacare in 2017, and for his alleged links to a dossier compiled by British former intelligence officer Christopher Steele, which sought to highlight Trump's alleged ties with Russia.

In March 2019, Trump also told reporters at the White House that the 2008 presidential hopeful's vote against repealing the Affordable Health Care act was "disgraceful" before adding "I was never a fan of John McCain and I never will be."

McCain's daughter, Meghan McCain, and Republican Utah Senator Mitt Romney were among those who criticized Trump for coming to berate the senator after his death.

The McCain Institute has been contacted for comment.

Palin announced her intention to run in the special election in Alaska on April 1, filing as a candidate for the race just moments before the deadline to do so passed.

"At this critical time in our nation's history, we need leaders who will combat the left's socialist, big-government, America-last agenda," Palin said in a statement.

"This country was built by heroes, and the radical left dishonors their legacies by opening our borders to illegal immigrants, mortgaging our children's future, and selling out our nation's interests to the highest bidder.

"I'm in this race to win it and join the fight for freedom alongside other patriots willing to sacrifice all to save our country."

Since running for vice president in 2008, Palin has not sought any other elected office. She now joins a crowded field of more than 50 candidates aiming to win Alaska's lone House seat left by Young, who held it for 49 years before his death.

The special election's primary will take place on June 11, with the top four candidates advancing to the general election on August 16.

In a tweet following Trump's endorsement, Palin said: "Thank you President Trump! Honored to have your support in our campaign for Alaska!"

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Donald Trump once again hit out at late GOP Sen. John McCain while endorsing his 2008 running mate, Sarah Palin, as she runs for Congress. Getty Images