Ex-Aides: Trump Delayed Rally for ‘About 15 Minutes’ to ‘Respect’ McCain Funeral

In their new book, Trump’s Enemies, released on Tuesday, former senior Trump campaign aides David Bossie and Corey Lewandowski describe behind-the-scenes moments from when they accompanied the president to a pre-midterms rally in late August. One such moment involves President Trump’s apparent decision to show some “respect” to his former political foe, late Republican Sen. John McCain—by slightly delaying his rally.

“In the hold room [before the Evansville rally], we watched a television that had the live feed showing service members carrying the flag-draped casket of Senator John McCain off the government plane and placing it into the hearse we had passed on the way to Andrews,” the two authors wrote. “We stood silently with the president as he watched the solemn procession play out. Out of respect, the president decided to start his rally about fifteen minutes late.”

Despite the negligible significance of Trump’s alleged decision, it was more magnanimous than what the president has otherwise offered. McCain and Trump had a long-running war of words, dating back to Trump’s campaign remarks slamming the senator for getting “captured” during the Vietnam War. After McCain died earlier this year, the president personally nixed an official statement praising him, and as the GOP lawmaker’s funeral was underway in D.C., Trump instead tweeted about an episode of Fox & Friends and headed to his private golf club in Virginia.

White House spokespeople didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on this story.

—Asawin Suebsaeng