President Donald Trump is offering his “deepest sympathies and respect” to the family of Arizona Sen. John McCain following the senator’s death.
The president’s statement comes after the two Republican leaders maintained a strained relationship since Trump suggested in 2015 the Vietnam veteran and prisoner of war was not a war hero.
Trump says on Twitter, “Our hearts and prayers are with you!”
McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, died Saturday at the age of 81 after battling brain cancer for more than a year.
Trump has frequently criticized McCain for voting against a 2017 plan in the Senate to replace the so-called Obamacare law.
Arizona Sen. John McCain, the war hero who became the GOP’s standard-bearer in the 2008 election, has died. He was 81.
His office says McCain died Saturday. He had battled brain cancer.
In 1967, his plane was shot down on a bombing mission over North Vietnam. He was severely injured and spent more than five years as a prisoner of war.
He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1982 and the Senate in 1986. A conservative on most issues, he pushed for campaign finance reform and the effort to account for those missing in Vietnam.
He ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 2000, then won it in 2008. But he and running mate Sarah Palin lost to Barack Obama.