In celebration of Donald Trump’s 73rd birthday today, thousands of Twitter users made the hashtag #JohnMcCainDay go viral in order to honor the late Republican senator and rival of the president.
The trend started when Andy Lassner, the executive producer of The Ellen DeGeneres Show suggested his followers commemorate the president’s birthday by making McCain’s name appear all over the social media site.
“I’m sure this would mean a lot to patriot like Donald Trump,” Lassner wrote.
Honoring an American hero today.
I’m sure this would mean a lot to patriot like Donald Trump. #JohnMcCainDay
— andy lassner (@andylassner) June 14, 2019
A petition on Change.org calling for June 14 (Trump’s birthday and Flag Day) to also be recognized as John McCain Day.
McCain, a Navy veteran, longtime Arizona senator and two-time Republican presidential nominee, died in August 2018 after a yearlong battle with brain cancer.
Trump repeatedly slammed the later senator during his final years in Congress and has continued to do so even after his death.
Their feud first began when Trump, who has been accused of lying about bone spurs to avoid the Vietnam War draft, said McCain was not a real hero because he was captured and taken as a prisoner of war during his time in the Navy.
“I like people that weren’t captured,” Trump said on the 2015 campaign trail.
In March, nearly seven months after McCain’s death, Trump lamented that he didn’t get a “thank you” for giving the Republican icon “the funeral he wanted.”
He then went on to blame McCain for the war in the Middle East and for not doing enough for veterans.
“I have to be honest: I’ve never liked him much, Trump said in his speech. “Hasn’t been for me. I’ve really—probably never will.”
A few weeks ago, the Trump administration was caught covering up the USS John S. McCain ship during the president’s visit to Japan.
While Trump initially told the press that he had no knowledge of the cover-up, the Navy said in a statement that a “request” was made to keep the ship out of view.
“A request was made to the U.S. Navy to minimize the visibility of USS John S. McCain, however, all ships remained in their normal configuration during the President’s visit,” Rear Admiral Charlie Brown, chief of Navy information, said in a statement.
“There were also no intentional efforts to explicitly exclude Sailors assigned to USS John S. McCain.”
Tweets saluted McCain’s military service throughout the day:
We had a lot of policy disagreements with John McCain and battles over use of military force. We never held back in our fights. But, we also always honored his sacrifice and heroism, in uniform. We still do. And that’s what we’re honoring, on this #JohnMcCainDay pic.twitter.com/oCEaf7uiXI
— VoteVets (@votevets) June 14, 2019
“Frankly, I would never accept an award from Vladimir Putin because then you kind of give some credence and credibility to this butcher, this KGB agent, which is what he is.” — John McCain #JohnMcCainDay pic.twitter.com/audYgSbSwz
— NationalJohnMcCainDay Friday, June 14, 2019 (Fan) (@StephenBright) June 14, 2019
Just wanted to wish you a very happy #JohnMcCainDay !
— W Ernest (@WillyTomlin) June 14, 2019
— Joy Prime (@odetojoy0811) June 14, 2019
— APW Wyott (@APWWyott) June 14, 2019
— JMosh420 (@Jmosher401) June 14, 2019
— Ocular Nervosa (@ocularnervosa) June 14, 2019
— Afriend InHR (@AfriendInHR) June 14, 2019
— Jonathan Poe ?? (@bwingobwango) June 14, 2019
I know #JohnMcCainDay is just a twitter thing, but I did want to reflect on this picture I took in Vietnam last week. It’s a monument on the site where McCain was captured. After he died, people left bouquets out of respect. Quite a few people we met would fondly invoke his name. pic.twitter.com/jTBULQuH3b
— Tyler (@yaboitybreezy) June 14, 2019
— Carolyn (@getcarolyn) June 14, 2019
— Mother Of Pitbulls (@ThatMillenial86) June 14, 2019
— PC4Liberty (@PC4Liberty) June 14, 2019
— Ziggy Bombanuts (@ziggybombanuts) June 14, 2019
— Leslie K (@Harpy9) June 14, 2019
— John Sullivan (@JohnSulliPhoto) June 14, 2019
— Chris Hatfield (@chrisghatfield) June 14, 2019
— Ashton Pittman (@ashtonpittman) June 14, 2019