One of Donald Trump’s most unlovely qualities and perhaps his least presidential is his enormous pettiness. He cannot let any slight, no matter how minor or how manufactured, pass without a childish riposte.
We saw this during the campaign in the notorious “You’re the puppet” exchange with Hillary Clinton in which Trump engaged the favorite playground defense of “I know you are, but what am I” after Hillary said he was the puppet of Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Hillary persists with her measured, well informed, accurate statement of the case while he continues to splutter his puerile fulmination.
In the public’s mind, apparently, Trump’s peak of pettiness came in the notorious incident when he mocked a disabled reporter whose reporting he disputed.
Since he exhibits no capacity to learn, nor any apparent interest in behaving like a sane adult, Trump just keeps piling on the pettiness. Most recently, he has again attacked the deceased Senator from Arizona, John McCain, whom he has feuded with for years, now criticizing him for his role in giving the notorious Steele dossier to the FBI and for voting against the Republican health care bill in a famous moment of recent Senate history.
Trump’s attacks on McCain have been going on for four years, maybe the only thing Trump has been able to remember that long. In a July 2015 campaign event, Trump said of McCain that he was not a hero and that Trump preferred heroes who did not get captured. McCain spent five years in a Vietnamese prisoner of war camp. Trump did not serve in Vietnam at all.
McCain, being the adult in the room, chose not to respond to Trump’s insult at all. Not being an enormously petty person, unlike Trump, he was capable of ignoring the stupid comment.
He was also still alive at the time.