Meghan McCain, daughter of the late Sen. John McCain, said Saturday that she prefers to call herself a conservative, rather than a Republican, because the party is "so tied up with being for" President Donald Trump.
McCain, 34, made the comments during an appearance on CNN's "The Van Jones Show." She qualified that she is still a member of the Republican Party, still votes for Republicans and still holds conservative views, but lamented what she sees as the president’s stranglehold on Republicans.
"I think over 80-something percent of Republicans support President Trump and maybe they are doing it because they don’t have another option, but I think the populist Trump brand really has taken over," McCain told Van Jones. "Which is why there's this sort of no-mans-land that I'm in."
"The View" co-host then evoked the memory of her late father saying: "As an American, I hate this country without him in it. I know that sounds awful. I don’t hate America but I just hate it without his leadership. I’m very – I’m sad all the time. I’m struggling with that sadness and I miss him in ways that I never even could have fathomed."
McCain later pushed back on news coverage stating she no longer calls herself a Republican.
"These headlines are ridiculous — I stated very clearly I am a member of the party, and vote on the republican ticket but that I put my conservative principles and worldview above all else. I was trying to explain the difference between Trump populists and classic Regan republican," she tweeted.
John McCain, who did last year from brain cancer, was a fervent critic of the president, and the two were known to trade barbs. During the campaign trail, Trump infamously mocked McCain’s war service saying, “I like people who weren’t captured,” in reference to the Arizona Senator’s time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. According to The New York Times, McCain’s dying wish was that Trump didn’t attend his funeral service.