President Trump continues to surprise people by offering kind words and actions to those mourning the loss of Senator John McCain behind the scenes.
The President has been accused of handling the death of a political rival rather ungraciously by the media, and by politicians on both sides of the political spectrum. Some of it is accurate, some of it is overblown.
Behind the scenes, Trump has been quite gracious to many of McCain’s friends and family.
He responded to a family request for military transportation of the late Senator’s remains, military pallbearers and band support, and a horse and caisson transport, in the affirmative.
He directed his Chief of Staff John Kelly to handle requests in regards to McCain’s family as, “whatever they need they get.”
And now, Senator Lindsey Graham described a touching moment that the President shared with him “out of the blue.”
Graham fought through tears on Tuesday to deliver a tribute to his good friend on the Senate floor.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 29, 2018
“The reason we’re talking about him today and the reason I’m crying is because he was successful in spite of his failures,” Graham said, fighting back tears.
“The joy that you received from being with him will sustain you for a lifetime and I am so lucky to have been in his presence.”
On Wednesday, Graham told CNN that he received a surprise phone call from Donald Trump immediately following the speech.
“He couldn’t have been nicer,” Graham explained.
“He said, ‘That was very sad. I just wanted to let you know that you did right by your friend,'” the South Carolina Senator revealed. “I said, ‘Thank you, Mr. President.'”
“Right out of the blue,” Graham said of the call.
Sen. Lindsey Graham on President Trump and John McCain’s strained relationship: “When he says something bad about John, it pisses me off. [Trump] called yesterday after my speech… He said, ‘That was very sad, I just want to let you know that you did right by your friend.’” pic.twitter.com/wfHSh8M6TM
— CNN (@CNN) August 29, 2018
Contrary to media portrayals, Donald Trump, the man, has a long, rich history of making kind gestures behind the scenes. He did this as a real estate mogul. He did this as a reality TV star. And he’s done this as President.
When three members of Grammy Award-winning singer Jennifer Hudson’s family were murdered in October of 2008, the future President gave her a place to stay free of charge in Trump Tower and provided security for her and her family.
When he found out a campaign volunteer who was working nights had a father suffering from cancer, he wrote multiple checks to help with his chemotherapy treatments.
When former NFL quarterback Jim Kelly was battling cancer, Trump personally “took care of (his) whole family” by providing them apartments to stay in while he was being treated.
And, much like Graham’s “out of the blue” message, President Trump made a surprise phone call to West Virginia Governor Jim Justice to check on his son, Jay, who had suffered from a blood clot.
These acts of kindness may be a surprise to Graham, they may be a surprise to the media, but they are more of the same from people who truly know Donald Trump.
Graham has been a supporter of the President, but it doesn’t mean he won’t speak his mind occasionally when he feels Trump is out of line, as he did during numerous public spats between him and McCain.
“When (Trump) says something bad about John it pisses me off,” Graham confessed.
He added, “I just want to be a bridge, to the extent that I can be, from the McCain world to the Bush world, to all the other worlds, to the Trump world, so we can get good policy.”