On Thursday, Republican Senator John McCain said President Barack Obama was “directly responsible” for the Orlando terrorist attack last weekend.
McCain said to Capitol Hill reporters and backed up by audio that NBC News obtained, “Barack Obama is directly responsible for it because when he pulled everybody out of Iraq, al Qaeda went to Syria and became ISIS and ISIS is what it is today thanks to Barack Obama’s failures, utter failures by pulling everybody out of Iraq thinking that conflicts end just because we leave.”
McCain then said, “So the responsibility for it lies with President Barack Obama and his failed policies.”
When pressured on this McCain didn’t stand by his words and added a clarification saying he misspoke and that he was blaming the president’s “national security decisions” for the rise of ISIS, “not the president himself.”
McCain made the comment to reporters on Thursday while Obama spent time in Orlando consoling with the families that lost loved ones that were killed in the Orlando terrorist attack.
Democrats have been criticizing Trump and other Republicans in the aftermath of the attacks. Donald Trump said that Obama has been favoring the lives of enemies over the lives of American citizens. He also recently said that Obama is refusing to use the words “radical Islamic terrorism” as part of the issue with terrorist attacks.
Senator McCain took to Twitter to retract his earlier remarks regarding the president. He also made a press release with a statement.