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John McCain’s Cellmate: No More ‘Hell on Earth’


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Washington, September 7, 2018 | Alex Gangitano, Roll Call | comments

Retiring Rep. Sam Johnson saluted his fellow former prisoner of war, Sen. John McCain, on the House floor Thursday night.

“John was more than just a colleague in Congress. We were friends, and that friendship was forged in the infamous Hanoi Hiton,” Johnson said. The two shared a cell.

“I could testify to the fact that John did everything he could to defend our freedom … not just on that hell on earth,” he said. “John, we will remember your strength of spirit, your commitment to our service members and our democracy and your love of country.”

The Texas Republican tapped on the podium to re-enact the message that POWs would use to resist their captors and speak to one another. “God bless you partner, I salute you,” he said.

GOP Rep. French Hill of Arkansas arranged the special order in honor of McCain, which involved speeches from several lawmakers Thursday night.


Among the other members who participated by sharing their favorite stories about were Republicans Jeff Denham of California and David Schweikert of Arizona, along with Democrats Steve Cohen of Tennessee and Jim Costa of California.


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