On another night jam-packed with news about the president and those in his circle, sad news about one of Washington’s legendary figures provided a moment of unity. Around 8 pm, we learned that John McCain has brain cancer. The longtime Arizona senator, former presidential candidate, and Vietnam War hero recently underwent surgery at the Mayo Clinic to remove a blood clot behind his eye. “Subsequent tissue pathology revealed that a primary brain tumor known as a glioblastoma was associated with the blood clot,” said a statement released by the senator’s office.
The shocked response from around the political and media world demonstrates the rare position the 80-year-old McCain occupies as a figure respected on all sides. President Trump and former Presidents Obama, Clinton, and George H.W. Bush all released statements of appreciation and support. Media members expressed respect for McCain’s candor and decency.
The son and grandson of US Navy admirals, McCain was shot down over Hanoi in 1967 and endured five years of captivity and torture, refusing numerous offers of release. He entered the Senate in 1986, and earned a reputation for working across the aisle on issues such as campaign finance reform.
In a time of vicious political polarization, McCain is one of the few figures in Washington who often manages to rise above the fray. Though he has recently been criticized by some for voting along party lines even as he speaks out forcefully against President Trump’s more troubling actions, McCain’s legacy as a giant of the Senate is secure.
Below, coverage past and present of McCain’s life.
- “A warrior at dusk”: Meghan McCain offers a beautiful tribute to her father.
- Difficult diagnosis: The Arizona Republic’s Ken Alltucker and Craig Harris speak with experts about glioblastoma, the aggressive form of cancer with which McCain has been diagnosed.
- “He just keeps getting up”: CNN’s Chris Cillizza outlines the major events in McCain’s “absolutely remarkable” life.
- McCain’s party: In 2005, The New Yorker’s Connie Bruck profiled McCain’s quest to become to the future of the Republican Party.
- Dispatch from the “Straight Talk Express”: David Foster Wallace’s profile of McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign for Rolling Stone (no longer available on its website) is worth your time.
Other notable stories
- In an Oval Office interview with The New York Times’s Peter Baker, Michael S. Schmidt, and Maggie Haberman, President Trump expressed frustration with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and took on Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. In addition to the main story, the Times posted an edited transcript of the 50-minute interview.
- More from the Times: Mike McIntire reports that former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort was $17 million in debt to pro-Russian interests as of December 2015.
- The Associated Press’s Vivian Salama writes that Trump’s soft approach on matters concerning Russia is causing a rift with advisers. “President Donald Trump’s persistent overtures toward Russia are placing him increasingly at odds with his national security and foreign policy advisers,” Salama reports.
- One year after celebrated journalist Pavel Sheremet was murdered in Kiev, Cheryl L Reed writes for CJR that, “In a time of war, investigative reporting in Ukraine is a tough sell.”
- Three versions—from Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times—of a fascinating story: palace intrigue and filial betrayal in Saudi Arabia’s line of succession.
- The Washington Post’s Callum Borchers writes that Charlie Spiering, Breitbart’s man in the White House, is no Trump sycophant.