Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against his own people, but John McCain is reserving some of his outrage for Donald Trump. According to the Arizona Senator, Trump is one of the reasons the attack happened in the first place.
Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said comments made by people in President Donald Trump’s administration are “partially to blame” for encouraging Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s apparent use of chemical weapons on his people last week.
McCain responded to remarks that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made at the end of March, before the attack, including comments that the Syrian people would determine Assad’s fate, and that removing him from power isn’t a top priority.
“I think it probably was partially to blame,” McCain said. “And Secretary Tillerson basically saying the same thing after kind of contradicting himself and then saying the same thing argues vigorously for a plan and a strategy. As I said again, taking this action I support and was important.”
McCain also said he does “not agree” with Tillerson’s position that the U.S. needs to concentrate on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) before it can further address Assad’s purported brutality against his own people, saying ISIS and Assad are “totally connected” issues.
“We will take Mosul,” McCain said. “We will take Raqqa. And we’d better have strategies as to how to handle those places once we have won it. But they’re not disconnected from Bashar Assad and the Al Qaeda – the war crimes that have been taking place.”
“You can’t — to a large degree, Bashar Assad, by polarizing the Syrian people have also given rise to ISIS and Al Qaeda,” McCain continued. “So they are both connected. And I believe that the United States of America can address both at the same time. We can walk and chew gum. We have the capability to do both.”
Leaving it to McCain to attack Trump after a foreign leader attacks his own people with chemical weapons — particularly after years of inaction by the previous administration. If anyone other than Assad shoulders some responsibility — and even that is arguable — it's Barack Obama, not Trump.
Source: CBS News