Meghan McCain took aim at Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday after the latter lay flowers for her late father, Senator John McCain, at a memorial for him in Hanoi, Vietnam, marking the location where he was shot down during the Vietnam War.
The conservative talk show host, who left The View earlier this year, told Ms Harris in a tweet on Thursday that the way to honour her father’s passing would be to ensure that “every single” American and Afghan who aided US forces during the nearly 20-year occupation were safe from the Taliban.
“If you want to honor my dads legacy on this anniversary of his death – you would spend every second making sure every single American and Afghan ally is out of harms way,” tweeted Ms McCain.
“He was nothing if not someone who understood sacrifice and loyalty to the people he served with,” she added.
Her remark, which did not specifically mention Ms Harris, nevertheless came just hours after Ms Harris was seen in videos laying flowers on the ground at the memorial in a pounding rainstorm while an aide held an umbrella overhead.
As Washington has devolved into a polarised, partisan battleground over the past two presidencies (at least), Mr McCain emerged as a maverick who would often buck his own party to vote for compromise legislation, most notably in 2017 when he famously ended GOP hopes to repeal the Affordable Care Act alongside Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins.
His and former President Donald Trump’s mutual animosity also led to his wife, Cindy McCain, endorsing President Joe Biden in his bid to unseat Mr Trump last year.
At the site of the monument commemorating Mr McCain’s capture during the war, which led to his imprisonment for five and a half years, Ms Harris offered praise for the Republican senator.
“He was an extraordinary American. A hero,” Ms Harris said. “He loved our country. He was so courageous and really lived the life of a hero, the sacrifices that he made that were on every scale imaginable … and he always fought for the best of who we are.”
For the past week and a half, the Biden administration has been the target of criticism from many over his handling of the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, and from Mr McCain’s wing of the Republican Party in particular for withdrawing US troops at all, a position that is at odds with the majority of the US public according to most recent polling.
The president faces underwater approval ratings on the issue as descriptions and images of the evacuations have caused many to question why flights out of the country did not begin weeks earlier, before the capital was in the hands of the Taliban.
The US has also faced questions over why the White House was taken by surprise regarding the speed of the Taliban’s takeover, as evidenced by Mr Biden saying one month ago that US intelligence had not indicated that it was likely Kabul would fall within weeks.
Thousands of Afghan citizens are still waiting in and around Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul hoping for a seat on a flight out of the country, while the Taliban has urged Afghan nationals to stay and in some cases attempted to prevent some from reaching the airport.