Society

McCain: American Leadership Has Gotten Worse

| by Robert Fowler

Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona has blasted President Donald Trump's approach to foreign policy, asserting that U.S. leadership has dimmed since former President Barack Obama left office.

On June 11, McCain expressed disapproval over Trump's social media remarks in the wake of London Bridge terror attack. In the GOP senator's view, the comments damaged relations between the U.S. and the U.K.

On June 4, Trump took to Twitter to accuse London Mayor Sadiq Khan of downplaying the seriousness of a terrorist attack against his constituents. When U.K. lawmakers asserted that Trump had taken Khan's words out of context, Trump tweeted "Pathetic excuse… Khan had to think fast on his 'no reason to be alarmed' statement."

McCain offered a withering assessment of Trump's diplomacy when asked about what message the tweet sent to the U.K.

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"What do you think the message is?" McCain told The Guardian. "The message is that America doesn't want to lead. They are not sure of American leadership, whether it be in Siberia or whether it be in Antarctica."

When asked if U.S. foreign policy had more credibility during the Obama administration, McCain said "As far as American leadership is concerned, yes."

McCain has been a vocal critic of Obama, who he had squared off against during the 2008 presidential election.

In February 2016, McCain graded Obama's foreign policy approach with an "F."

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The senior senator from Arizona told The Hill that Obama "came to power believing that the United States should 'lead from behind.'"

While McCain expressed his disdain for Trump's foreign policy, Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona asserted that tensions between the U.S. and its allies would lessen if the president curbed his social media habit.

"I've said it a number of times -- it'd be easier if Trump wasn't tweeting so much," Flake said. "In terms of foreign policy, this is going to have serious consequences."

Former deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes to the Obama administration asserted that it was Trump's core foreign policy agenda that was the problem, stating that the U.S. was now "at odds with key pillars of western foreign policy."

On June 11, reports claimed that Trump had told U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May that he would delay his planned foreign trip to Britain until his popularity improved there.

A May spokesperson denied that Trump had pushed back his trip to Britain, although a date has not been set, The New York Times reports.

"The queen extended an invitation to President Trump to visit the U.K., and there is no change to those plans," the spokesperson said.

Sources: The Guardian (2), The HillThe New York Times / Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

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