WASHINGTON (KTVU) - President Trump's renewed criticism of the late Senator John McCain, just seven months after McCain's passing from brain cancer last August, is re-opening old wounds, creating internal tension and divisions within the Republican Party, and has some Republicans facing choices about whether to condemn, support, or ignore the President's rhetoric.
"I can't imagine what the President expects to gain from such disparaging remarks," said Jill Buck, a former McCain campaign volunteer in Pleasanton, California who directed his 2008 primary campaign communications in California.
Buck is also a veteran who served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. She remembers Senator McCain thanking her for her service at a California Republican convention. She says she and other veterans have been upset by the President's attacks on McCain.
"Disappointment is a pretty soft word for the way that we feel. And this isn't okay, not in the least bit," said Buck.
President Trump spoke at an Army tank plant in Lima, Ohio Wednesday, praising workers and touting his administration's efforts to increase military spending and improve the economy.
Then, for about five minutes, the President took aim at the late Arizona Senator and Vietnam War veteran John McCain.
"A lot of people are asking because they love me and they ask me about a man named John McCain. And if you want me to tell you about...should I tell you about it?" said the President, "So I have to be honest. I've never liked him much.hasn't been for me. 46 I really probably never will."
The President laid blame on McCain for many issues currently facing the Trump administration.
He criticized McCain for handing over an unverified dossier about Trump to the FBI.
"What did he do? He didn't call me. He turned it over to the FBI hoping to put me in jeopardy and that's not the nicest thing to do," said President Trump, whose 2016 campaign is under investigation by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller.
The President also had criticism for McCain's support of the Iraq War, for never getting thanks from McCain's family for state funeral services, and for casting the deciding vote against President Trump and Senate Republicans' efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
"He said two hours before he was voting to repeal and replace, and then he went thumbs down, badly hurting the Republican Party, badly hurting our nation," said President Trump.
Some Republicans spoke out Wednesday, saying the President's attacks Wednesday and tweets over the weekend are hurting the Republican Party.
"You know these Twitter spats, I don't think they help anybody. I want to look forward, but there is nobody I've ever admired more than Senator John McCain." said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who is also a Trump ally.
Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tweeted, "It was a blessing to serve alongside a rare patriot and genuine American hero in the Senate."
Republican Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia went a step further, naming President Trump and calling his comments, "deplorable," and said "It's a damaging situation."
"He spends his weekend obsessing over great men because he knows it, and I know it, and all of you know it. He will never be a great man," said Meghan McCain.
"I'm proud of the Senators who were friends of Senator McCain who have stood up and rebuked the President's remarks," said Buck.
Some Republicans, though, did not see McCain as a hero, for his Congressional actions on Capitol Hill.
Also, at an Alameda County Republican Party meeting Wednesday, some said they might disagree with President Trump's attacks on John McCain's service and character, but they like President Trump's policies and getting into a fight with him won't advance those efforts.
"I like the stuff he's done on policy. I'd rather not talk about any of this other stuff," said Hugh Bussell, Chair of the Alameda County Republican Party, "It matters but I think it's of far less importance than the good stuff that he's done."