Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has emerged as President Trump’s fiercest Republican critic and has become a mouthpiece for doubts held by other members of the GOP who are more hesitant to publicly criticize Trump.
McCain launched his latest public salvo in a recent interview with The Guardian in which he claimed that America’s standing in the world was stronger under former President Barack Obama, who McCain castigated for having a “feckless” foreign policy.
A month before McCain’s interview with The Guardian, he condemned Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for minimizing the importance of basing foreign policy decisions on American values.
“With those words, Secretary Tillerson sent a message to oppressed people everywhere: Don’t look to the United States for hope,” McCain wrote in a New York Times op-ed.
Upon hearing in May that Trump had disclosed classified information provided by Israeli intelligence, McCain called the reports “deeply disturbing” and warned that allies might hesitate to 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 McCain.
During his bid last year for reelection to the Senate for a sixth term, McCain was less critical of Trump, even after Trump’s reference to McCain’s status as a Vietnam War hero.
“I like people who weren’t captured,” Trump said regarding McCain who spent five years in a North Vietnamese prison.
In reference to McCain’s recent remarks comparing Trump unfavorably to Obama, Weaver said that the Senator was just voicing an opinion that he has 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.”
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