Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona said he's more worried about the country than he's ever been in his entire life.
Speaking with David Axelrod, the former top adviser to former President Barack Obama, McCain spoke his mind about the current state of U.S. foreign policy and the country's standing on the world stage as Russia appears to have regained its status as a traditional world power, and wars continue to rage across the Middle East and Africa.
"I am more worried about this country than I've been in my entire lifetime. We are seeing strains on the world order," McCain said, according to CNN.
But threats of war aren't what worries the Republican foreign policy hawk, who has famously advocated for tougher sanctions against a wide array of countries, including Russia and Iran. In addition, McCain says that the allegations that Russian intelligence agents hacked into the Democratic National Committee's emails and released them to the general public is more serious than a bombing attack.
"It's one thing to destroy a building with a bomb or inflict damage, but if you destroy the fundamentals of a free and open society, which is what democracy is all about, you inflict incredibly heavier damage," McCain said.
The Cato Institute rates McCain's interventionist foreign policy views as more hawkish than former President George W. Bush. And in his interview with Axelrod, McCain openly admitted that he does not prefer the "neo-isolationist" views of Trump's closest advisers, including Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, even though he says the additions of Defense Secretary James Mattis, national security adviser Lt. General H.R. McMaster, and Homeland Security secretary John F. Kelly make up "the strongest (national security team) I've seen."
"I know that the president has great respect for these former military people that he has given the most important national security posts," McCain said. But, he continued, "Everybody tells me that Mr. Bannon has his ear constantly. So there is a contradiction within this administration."
McCain has long argued against improving relations with Russia. And shortly after Trump was elected in November 2016, McCain blasted the incoming administration for attempting to make an overture towards Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"With the U.S. presidential transition underway, Vladimir Putin has said in recent days that he wants to improve relations with the United States," McCain said in a statement, according to The Washington Post. "We should place as much faith in such statements as any other made by a former KGB agent who has plunged his country into tyranny, murdered his political opponents, invaded his neighbors, threatened America’s allies and attempted to undermine America’s elections."