Republican Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) said former President Barack Obama called to thank him for his vote against repealing Obamacare last September — which not only went against GOP efforts but also drew disdain from President Donald Trump.
The revelation makes an appearance in McCain's book, "The Restless Wave," which drops May 22 — but The Daily Beast got an early copy and recounted the theater surrounding the momentous vote.
Prior to the Arizona Republican casting his vote, he took another call — from Trump urging him to reconsider his no vote, the outlet said.
More from the book, according to The Daily Beast:
By that point, the Arizona Republican had already made up his mind, and would, as he put it, politely rebuff the president. Moments later, McCain wandered on to the floor and dramatically thrust his thumb down, signaling his no vote.
The moment earned McCain plaudits from Democrats along with the ire of Trump.
It also got him another phone call.
“Among the people who called to thank me was President Obama,” McCain noted in "The Restless Wave," the outlet said.
“I appreciated his call, but, as I said, my purpose hadn’t been to preserve his signature accomplishment but to insist on a better alternative, and to give the Senate an opportunity to work together to find one. He hadn’t called to lobby me before the vote, which I had appreciated. He had last called me not long after the November election, during the transition to the Trump administration, to congratulate me on my re-election. He added that he was counting on me to be an outspoken and independent voice for the causes I believed in as I had been during his presidency. I thanked him, and said I would try to be," he added, according to the Daily Beast.
McCain said that while he didn't tip off reporters on how he would vote, he did manage to first spill the beans to a prominent Democrat — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer from New York, the outlet reported.
Vice President Mike Pence also tried on the Senate floor to persuade McCain to vote yes and kill Obamacare — but Pence didn't have a chance, the book said, according to the Daily Beast.
Finally it was Trump's turn on the horn in an attempt to change McCain's mind: “I listened quietly as he asked me to reconsider,” he added in "The Restless Wave," according to the outlet.