McCain Continues Brutal Attack On Trump, Stands By His Comments That Obama Is Better Leader
Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) is not shy when it comes to expressing his views in public. In his latest public shot at the Trump administration, McCain blasted Trump’s “reckless” foreign policy, telling The Guardian that America’s standing in the world was stronger under former President Barack Obama.
Then, after torching the Trump’s “chaotic” White House, McCain strongly criticized Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for downplaying the importance of basing foreign policy decisions on American values.
“With these policies, Secretary Tillerson is sending a message to oppressed people everywhere: Don’t look to the United States for hope,” McCain warned in a New York Times op-ed.
McCain also called reports that Trump had shared classified information provided by Israeli intelligence “deeply disturbing” and warned that allies may not share sensitive material in the future.
“I’ve talked to a number of Republican senators who share the same viewpoint and for whatever reason are reluctant to say it,” said John Weaver, a longtime political adviser to the senator.
With McCain’s remarks comparing Trump unfavorably to Obama, Weaver said he was just voicing an idea he’s previously shared with world leaders.
“He’s all but said the same thing on his trips to the Munich defense conference and to Asia,” Weaver said. “I know he’s very concerned about America advocating its position in the world on trade and security issues.”
Last year, Trump questioned McCain’s status as a Vietnam War hero.
“I like people who weren’t captured,” Trump said in a cutting remark about McCain’s five years of captivity in a North Vietnamese prison.
Since then, McCain, who relished the label of maverick earlier in his career, has become a big thorn in Trump’s side.
McCain supported staying in the Paris climate agreement, for instance, and he was obviously unhappy with Trump’s counterproductive trolling of the mayor of London last week after a terror attack.
He praised Comey “as a man of honor and integrity” after Trump fired him and argued that the president’s decision confirmed “the need and urgency” to set up a special congressional committee to investigate Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election.
When Trump later disparaged Comey as a “nut job,” according to press reports, McCain said he was “almost speechless.”
In May, he said the controversy could become a full-blown scandal, observing, “It’s reaching the point where it’s of Watergate-size and scale.”
On the policy front, McCain last month cast a surprise vote to kill a resolution Trump favored that would have overturned an Obama-era rule on methane emissions.
Unlike GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Susan Collins (Maine), who announced their positions prior to opposing the resolution, McCain did not give a public warning, prompting speculation that he wanted to warn Trump over the Comey firing.
McCain also opposed Trump’s pick to serve as U.S. trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, to protest the administration’s uncertain stance on the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Other Republicans have hinted at similar concerns to McCain’s on Trump but have muted their criticism.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) appeared stunned last week when he learned Trump had accused Qatar, which hosts the largest U.S. military base in the Middle East, of being a state sponsor of terrorism.
“The president?” Corker asked reporters, looking shocked as one journalist showed him Trump’s comments made earlier that day on Twitter.
But Corker did not directly criticize Trump’s remarks.