Donald Trump's now infamous slap against John McCain's war hero status is an almost identical echo from the past of another famous-person-turned-politician, Sen. Al Franken.
Back in the year 2000, the then-comedian and Saturday Night Live alum said that he did not consider McCain a war hero. Speaking at that time to Salon about the upcoming election, Franken said:
I doubt I could cross the line and vote Republican. I have tremendous respect for McCain but I don’t buy the war hero thing. Anybody can be captured. I thought the idea was to capture them. As far as I’m concerned he sat out the war.
This long-forgotten jab has recently resurfaced because of Trump's insistence of the same. Trump recently said of McCain: "He's not a war hero. He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren't captured, okay? I hate to tell you."
Trump has since doubled down on his statement, but according to Franken's spokesman Michael Dale-Stein, his jab was just a joke. It did, however, come up during Franken's radio show four years after he said it on the now-defunct progressive Air America radio station when McCain was a guest in 2004. He said to the senator:
I mean, I consider you a hero, tremendous political courage, not, you know, the thing about five years, or five and a half years at the Hanoi Hilton; as far as I'm concerned you just sat out the war. I don't consider that real heroism. Anybody can get captured, right?