McCain on Sochi: 'I’m not saying don’t go'

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) advised U.S. citizens to pay close attention to State Department warnings about traveling to the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. 

However, the Arizona senator declined to advise people not to go, saying security concerns at the games is not his area of expertise. 

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“Look, I’m not saying don’t go,” McCain said on an Arizona radio station Wednesday. “I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go. All I’m saying is pay attention to the State Department warnings that you ought to be careful. For me to tell people to go or not is frankly not in my area of expertise.”

The State Department has issued a travel warning, reminding Americans to remain attentive during the games, and a number of lawmakers have expressed concern about security there. 

However, the House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul (R-Texas) said Sochi is well protected after visiting the site this week. 

During the interview, McCain also took a number of shots at the Russian president and Secretary of State John Kerry.   

McCain said several high-ranking Russian defectors had told him that President Vladimir Putin has called the senator one of “his biggest problems” after McCain’s consistent criticism of the Russian leader. 

McCain also took a shot at Kerry who “pals around” with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov while the country continues to send weapons to help the Syrian regime. 

“As our secretary of State pals around with Sergey Lavrov, weapons are flying in that are killing people,” said McCain, who has advocated for broader intervention to help the Syrian opposition. 

“Russians are all in with Syria and it is outrageous and disgraceful. And there is one thing I can assure you of my dear friends: This Geneva thing that is convening today will be a total farce.”