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Donald Trump slams John McCain, who is caught having to explain past support for GOP nominee

 (Ross D. Franklin/AP)
(Ross D. Franklin/AP)

Donald Trump says the “shackles” are off, so on Tuesday, he aimed some of his ire at the 2008 Republican presidential nominee: Sen. John McCain. 

McCain, who is locked in a tough reelection fight in Arizona, was among dozens of Republican leaders who condemned and abandoned Trump after Friday's leak of a 2005 video that revealed Trump boasting about groping women and making other lewd comments. 

Trump assailed McCain as “foul mouthed” and noted he had endorsed McCain in his primary fight.

“Then he dropped me over locker room remarks,” tweeted Trump.

On Saturday, McCain officially withdrew his support for Trump.

“Donald Trump’s behavior this week, concluding with the disclosure of his demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults, make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy,” the five-term senator said in a statement.

McCain was unable to avoid discussing his previous support for Trump during a campaign debate Monday with Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, a three-term Democratic congresswoman who is hoping to topple McCain on Nov. 8.

He was pressed to explain why he had abandoned Trump months after endorsing him. 

“When Mr. Trump attacks women and demeans the women in our nation and in our society, that is a point where I just have to part company,” McCain responded.

McCain’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment about Trump’s latest tweet.

Relations between the two have been strained since shortly after Trump joined the race last year and publicly disparaged McCain’s military service during the Vietnam war.

“He’s not a war hero,” Trump said in July 2015. “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.”

McCain, then a Navy pilot, was shot down over Hanoi and spent nearly six years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, refusing early release even after he was repeatedly beaten.

McCain ultimately offered grudging support for Trump’s presidential bid, saying he would support his party’s nominee.

Asked during the first debate whom he would support in November, McCain said he would not vote for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee.

 “I think I might write in Lindsey Graham,” McCain said, referring to the South Carolina senator who ran unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination. “He’s an old, good friend of mine, and a lot of people like him.”

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