Arizona Sen. John McCain delivered a series of blows to President Donald Trump Friday during a speech in Germany, and at one point he compared today's political atmosphere to the Nazi years of the 1930s and 1940s.
"In the four decades I have attended this conference, I cannot recall a year where its purpose was more necessary or more important," said McCain, who never mentioned Trump by name during his speech at the Munich Security Conference but referenced his policies several times.
"This panel is going to ask us to consider whether the West will survive. In recent years, this question would invite accusations of hyperbole and alarmism. Not this year. If ever there was a time to treat this question with a deadly seriousness, it is now."
While making his case, McCain — who like Trump is a Republican — mentioned Ewald-Heinrich von Kleist. Von Kleist was part of the group that plotted to assassinate Adolf Hitler in 1944.
"What would von Kleist's generation say if they saw our world today?" McCain asked. "I fear that much about it would be all too familiar for them. And they would be alarmed by it."
McCain then tried to dismantle Trump's foreign policy (America First), his recent immigration order that critics called a Muslim ban, and some of the alleged untruths that have emerged from Trump's White House.
"They would be alarmed by an increasing turn away from universal values and toward old ties of blood, and race, and sectarianism. They would be alarmed by the hardening resentment we see toward immigrants, and refugees, and minority groups, especially Muslims," McCain said.
"They would be alarmed by the growing inability, and even unwillingness, to separate truth from lies. They would be alarmed that more and more of our fellow citizens seem to be flirting with authoritarianism and romanticizing it as our moral equivalent."
McCain closed this segment of his speech by saying he's worried people of the world are abandoning the West.
"But what would alarm them most I think is a sense that many of our peoples, including in my own country, are giving up on the West," he said. "They see it as a bad deal that we may be better off without."
McCain and Trump have not gotten along since Trump announced in 2015 he was running for president. The two have traded barbs in the media on several occasions, with Trump once questioning McCain's status as a war hero.
"He's not a war hero," Trump said in July 2015. "He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured."
McCain was a Navy pilot during the Vietnam War and was shot down, which resulted in him spending more than five years in a North Vietnamese prison. He was repeatedly tortured during his captivity.
McCain served in the House from 1983-1987 and has been in the Senate ever since. He warned the audience in Munich that the U.S. should not be counted out.
"Make no mistake my friends, these are dangerous times," McCain said, seemingly referencing both the political climate and the constant threat of terrorism. "You should not count America out. And we should not count each other out."
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