DONALD Trump has been hung out to dry by furious social media users over his “narcissistic” and “fake” condolences in response to the tragic passing of US Republican Senator John McCain.
Taking to Instagram to express his sympathy to the grieving family of Senator McCain, who died overnight at 81 years old after a battle with brain cancer, the US President wrote: “My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!”
But the message lost any good intention when Mr Trump accompanied it with a photo of himself.
Next to the words, the President featured a full-length photo of himself looking pensively into the distance — and people are disgusted.
Mr Trump and Mr McCain had butted heads over recent years.
Mr Trump drew widespread condemnation during his 2016 presidential campaign when he questioned Mr McCain’s military service, claiming he liked people who had not been captured.
“He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured,” Mr Trump said at a campaign event in Iowa.
After his cancer diagnosis, Mr McCain continued criticism of what the long-time foreign policy hawk saw as an “unpatriotic” abdication of US leadership on the world stage, denouncing Mr Trump’s policies as “half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems”.
Mr McCain irked Mr Trump in July 2017 when he helped scuttle long-standing Republican efforts to overturn health care reforms implemented by former president Barack Obama.
This ended Mr Trump’s bid to repeal the health care reforms despite having allowed debate of the matter to move forward by returning to Congress just days after his cancer diagnosis.
Mr Trump later won a partial victory in his effort to repeal and replace Obamacare when its requirement that Americans buy health care insurance or face a fine was cancelled in another bill.
Many have taken to Mr Trump’s favoured form of communication, Twitter, to tell him directly that his post is insensitive and wrong.
McCain is survived by his wife, Cindy, seven children from two marriages and his mother, Roberta McCain, 106.
1936: John Sidney McCain was born on August 29 in the Panama Canal Zone to parents John S. McCain Jr. and Roberta (Wright) McCain.
1958: McCain graduates from the United States Naval Academy, which both his father and grandfather also attended, and began training to become a naval aviator.
1965: He marries model Carol Shepp and adopts her two children Douglas and Andrew. The couple had daughter Sidney not long after.
1967: The then lieutenant commander fought in the Vietnam War and was captured after his plane was struck down by a missile.
1968: The POW was placed into solitary confinement for three and a half years.
1973: McCain was released on March 14, after 5 and a half years of imprisonment. He received the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross for his service.
1977: He was assigned as the Navy’s liaison for the US senate, a move that he said was his “real entry into the world of politics”.
1980: McCain divorces Carol and marries Cindy Lou Hensley.
1981: He retires from the navy and moves to Arizona.
1982: Is elected into public office for the first time, winning a seat in the US House of Representatives.
1984: Daughter Meghan is born, followed by sons John Sidney IV in 1986 and James in 1988.
1986: McCain wins a position in the US Senate. He has since served six-terms as Senator of Arizona.
1987: He is one of five senators caught up in a scandal over connections with savings and loan swindler Charles Keating, Jr, but was cleared of charges in 1991.
1991: The McCains adopt a three-month-old girl from Bangladesh, whom they name Bridget.
1997: McCain was named as one of the “25 most influential people in America” by Time magazine.
1999: His book Faith of My Fathers is published. It tells of his family’s military history and his experiences as a POW.
2000: Ran as a Republican candidate for president but lost to George W Bush. He was also diagnosed with skin cancer this year and underwent surgery to have the cancers removed.
2001: He underwent treatment for prostate cancer.
2008: Was the Republican presidential candidate but lost the election to Barack Obama.
2017: In July, McCain is diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour, but returns to the Senate less than two weeks after surgery to cast the deciding vote on proposed changes to healthcare.
In December he leaves to seek medical treatment.
2018: In August, McCain’s family announce he is stopping medical treatment for his brain cancer.