Sen. McCain admits to 'gross exaggeration'

Sen. John McCainJohn McCainGOP lawmakers slam secret agreement to help lift Iran bank sanctions Kerry: US 'on the verge' of suspending talks with Russia on Syria Trump, Clinton to headline Al Smith dinner MORE (R-Ariz.) on Sunday backed off his comparison of President Obama’s handshake with Cuban leader Raúl Castro to former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain’s handshake with Adolf Hitler.

McCain admitted on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the comparison was a “gross exaggeration."

“I think it was exaggeration but have no doubt that was a great propaganda value for the Cuban government, which is oppressive, repressive, continues to jail dissidents and continues to be one of, probably easily, the most repressive governments in our hemisphere,” McCain said.

“I don’t think you should shake hands with someone who continues to violate his own country’s human rights,” he said. “It happened but it is what it is.”

When CNN anchor Candy Crowley continued to press McCain on whether the comparison to Chamberlain and Hitler was “over the top,” McCain said, “I’m sure it was an exaggeration, Candy. If you want me to plead guilty here on CNN, guilty.”