in a new book reportedly takes aim at Republican leaders including former President George W. Bush and the late Sen. (Ariz.).
In the book, “American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump,” by Politico Magazine chief correspondent Tim Alberta, Trump said he “brought the [Republican] Party back” after it was in “big trouble,” Axios reported early Wednesday.
Trump reportedly attributed the party’s previous failures to his predecessors, including Bush, who “caused tremendous division … tremendous death and tremendous monetary loss” during his presidency by focusing on foreign operations instead of boosting the domestic economy.
Trump also told Alberta that McCain, who died of brain cancer last August and repeatedly feuded with the president during his time in the White House, hurt his 2008 presidential campaign when he told laid-off Midwestern workers that some of them wouldn’t get their jobs back, Axios reports.
“I gave him money — believe it or not, because I wasn’t a huge fan, then or now, but I raised money for him,” Trump said, according to the news outlet. “And then he just gave up on an entire section of the country.”
Trump has previously said he was “never a fan of John McCain, and I never will be.”
In the book, Alberta argues that Trump won the presidency in 2016 by “channeling anxious Americans’ indignation and darker impulses,” Axios reports.
“Nobody gave them hope,” Trump reportedly told Alberta during an interview in the Oval Office. “I gave them hope.”
Now, “the Republican Party is strong,” he added. “They’ve got to remain faithful. And loyal.”