Tags: John McCain | Trump | Critic

John McCain Maintains His Position as Trump's Top Critic

Image: John McCain Maintains His Position as Trump's Top Critic

(AP)

By    |   Monday, 20 Feb 2017 09:21 AM

Just one month into the administration of President Donald Trump, Arizona Sen. John McCain has emerged as one of the Republican Party's main critics of the commander in chief, The New York Times reported on Monday.

McCain, who is chairman of the Armed Services Committee, has repeatedly been at odds with Trump's national security policies, as shown by his critique of the president's "America First" theme over the weekend at the Munich security conference.

ABC News reported that McCain said in his speech that he was worried about a shift away from the "universal values" that formed the Western alliance 70 years ago, was concerned about a flirtation with authoritarianism, lamented the "hardening resentment we see toward immigrants, and refugees, and minority groups, especially Muslims," and was "alarmed by the growing inability, and even unwillingness, to separate truth from lies."

These were all clear references to Trump, although McCain did not mention the president's name during the speech.

The friction between the two was already evident during the presidential campaign when Trump lashed out at McCain's criticism of his stance on immigration by saying about the senator, who was a prisoner of war for five years in Vietnam: "I like people that weren't captured."

But it appeared that McCain was ready to give the new administration a chance, telling reporters after the election that he will not talk about Trump.

However, the senator changed his mind after many of Trump's early moves highlighted the sharp policy differences with McCain, who supports free trade, backs NATO, is deeply suspicious of Russian intentions and has been an advocate of an assertive foreign policy.

Richard Fontaine, a former foreign policy adviser to McCain, explained to The New York Times that many of Trump's polices fly in the face of "the principles that Sen. McCain has espoused, [which] have animated American foreign policy for decades."

McCain has repeatedly slammed Trump on numerous issues, and there has been no letup in the criticism since.

The senator questioned Russia's intentions in interfering in the American elections while the president tried to downplay Moscow's role and chastised Trump for a comment appearing to give moral equivalency between the actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin and those of the United States.

McCain also criticized Trump's executive order on travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries as a "self-inflicted wound" that would harm American relations with Muslim partners needed in the fight against extremists and slammed the president's decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership as "creating an opening for China."

In addition, the Arizona senator criticized the way in which Trump decided on a special operation raid that resulted in the death of a Navy SEAL.

McCain even called Australia's ambassador to offer unwavering support for the alliance after Trump had a heated phone call with Australia's prime minster.

And in his latest denunciation of Trump, the senator slammed the president's contention that the media is "the enemy of the American people" by warning that "the first thing that dictators do is shut down the press."

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Politics
Just one month into the administration of President Donald Trump, Arizona Sen. John McCain has emerged as one of the Republican Party's main critics of the commander in chief, The New York Times reported on Monday.
John McCain, Trump, Critic
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2017-21-20
Monday, 20 Feb 2017 09:21 AM
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