Sen. John McCain told reporters on Thursday that President Barack Obama is “directly responsible” for the terror attack on a LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando earlier this week.
The Republican senator from Arizona reportedly argued that Obama is to blame for the shooting that left 49 people dead because his administration’s Middle East policy led to the rise of the terrorist group ISIS.
McCain told a small group of reporters in a Senate hallway that Obama shouldn’t have withdrawn combat troops from Iraq and declined to intervene in the Syrian civil war, according to The Washington Post. His comments were made in response to a question about gun control.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s office quickly issued a statement condemning McCain’s comments.
“Senator McCain’s unhinged comments are just the latest proof that Senate Republicans are puppets of Donald Trump,” said Adam Jentleson, Reid’s deputy chief of staff.
“This is the party of Trump.”
The gunman who carried out the Orlando attack, a US citizen, pledged allegiance to ISIS in phone calls and Facebook posts made during the attack.
A spokesperson for McCain did not immediately return a request for comment.
NOW WATCH: The number of times Obama has had to respond to mass shootings during his presidency is staggering
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.