Outspoken Trump supporter Bill Mitchell is facing harsh criticism after tweeting Friday he believed Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was a “songbird in Vietnam and sold out his friends.”
The more I see of John McCain the more I believe he was the songbird in Vietnam and sold out his friends. He does that now every day.
— Bill Mitchell (@mitchellvii) October 14, 2017
McCain spent five years as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam after his bomber was shot down by a surface-to-air missile on Oct. 26, 1967. Despite enduring torture at the hands of the North Vietnamese, McCain insists he did not give any military information to his captors.
“I refused to give them anything except my name, rank, serial number and date of birth. They beat me around a little bit. I was in such bad shape that when they hit me it would knock me unconscious. They kept saying, ‘You will not receive any medical treatment until you talk,’” McCain wrote in a 2008 first-person account for U.S. News.
In June 1968, McCain refused to accept an early release from captivity, knowing that Navy Lt. Everett Alvarez, who was shot down in 1964, should have been the first POW released.
“I just knew it wasn’t the right thing to do,” McCain said, according to a 2007 profile in The Arizona Republic. “I knew that they wouldn’t have offered it to me if I hadn’t been the son of an admiral.”
Many thought the radio host crossed the line in suggesting McCain sold out his friends during his years as a POW.
“People can disagree politically but Mitchell’s slam on McCain was seen by many as beyond the pale,” according to Twitchy.
Twitter users also chimed in.
If you want to take a swipe at McCain, there’s plenty of ammunition from THIS CENTURY to do so. This is repulsive. At least TRY to be better
— Nieds Dead Horse (@NDH_j_m_f) October 14, 2017
Was there anyone in Vietnam who less “sold out his friends” than John McCain? https://t.co/StelKRFNX7
— Charles C. W. Cooke (@charlescwcooke) October 14, 2017
This is despicable. The man was tortured for years because he was captured while serving his country.
— Sarah 🎃uinlan (@sarahmquinlan) October 14, 2017
There’s a special kind of evil required to make this accusation about a man who rejected his own freedom in solidarity with his countrymen. https://t.co/lMu5HRZrvK
— Ellen L. Carmichael (@ellencarmichael) October 14, 2017
You are a disgusting disgrace of an American. McCain literally can’t raise his arms properly because of the torture he endured. Apologize. https://t.co/XdH3ptOLGu
— Bradley P. Moss, Esq (@BradMossEsq) October 14, 2017
You do understand the Hanoi Hilton is different than a real Hilton hotel, correct? https://t.co/Lke5EFRTtL
— Jesse Kelly (@JesseKellyDC) October 14, 2017
As of Monday morning, Mitchell’s tweet is still up. He has yet to issue an apology.
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