Sen. John McCain rebuked President Donald Trump’s “very disturbing” remarks towards controversial foreign leaders that have been widely admonished by lawmakers.
Speaking to Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday, McCain said that Trump’s latest attempts to side with leaders like Kim Jong Un of North Korea were beyond comprehension.
“I don’t understand it, and I don’t think that the president appreciates the fact that when he says things like that, it helps the credibility and prestige of this really outrageous strongman,” McCain said, referring to Kim Jong Un. “I wish the president would consider much more carefully his comments.”
Trump sent shockwaves in the national security community after calling Jong Un a “smart cookie” and acknowledging that he would be “honored” to meet with him. To date, no sitting US president has ever held a meeting with a current North Korean leader.
“If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would absolutely, I would be honored to do it,” Trump said to Bloomberg News on Monday. “If it’s under the, again, under the right circumstances. But I would do that.”
“This is a dramatic departure from the kind of approach to foreign policy and human rights that I’d admired Ronald Reagan so much for,” said McCain. “It’s disturbing because we are proud Republicans and we stand for human rights.”
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright also criticised Trump’s remarks on CNN Tuesday. “A president doesn’t go to a country without any preparation, and ‘honored’ would definitely be the wrong way to discuss somebody who is keeping his people in poverty and starving and control,” Albright said on CNN’s “The Lead.”
“I think that part of the issue is that President Trump seems to believe that he can have just one-on-one relationships,” Albright said. “And maybe that’s possible in business, but that is not something that is possible as president of the United States.”
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