John McCain explained to Bill O’Reilly on Thursday why he called Donald Trump supporters “crazies” — a term he considers endearing.
“It was meant in jest,” the Arizona Senator told the Fox News host. “I view it as a term of endearment,” he continued, adding he’s been called crazy by hecklers at town halls and it’s all part of the political game.
The comment McCain made set Trump off, prompting him to belittle the former prisoner of war’s service during the Vietnam War.
“He’s a war hero because he was captured,” Trump said Saturday. “I like people who weren’t captured.”
The comments sparked a national firestorm, with Trump put on the defensive as political and media analysts panned him across party lines.
Trump walked back the comments slightly during a flurry of media appearances in recent days, stressing that he thinks McCain is a war hero but arguing he hasn’t done enough to help struggling veterans.