McCain: Republicans 'see weakness' in Trump

McCain: Republicans 'see weakness' in Trump
© Keren Carrion

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainSenate Dems tell Trump: Don't meet with Putin one-on-one McConnell: Senate to confirm Kavanaugh by Oct. 1 Overnight Defense: Fears rise over Trump-Putin summit | McCain presses Trump to hold Putin 'accountable' for hacking | Pentagon does damage control after NATO meet MORE (R-Ariz.) says would-be Republican presidential candidates "see weakness" in President Trump.

"They see weakness in this president," McCain told The New York Times for a story on Republicans potentially eyeing 2020. "Look, it's not a nice business we're in."

That perceived weakness, the Times reported, has cast a shadow of uncertainty on the president's hopes for reelection in 2020, especially as some high-profile Republicans appear to be taking early steps toward potentially mounting their own campaigns.

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To be sure, McCain and Trump do not have a particularly close relationship. The Arizona Republican spoke critically of Trump when he was still an insurgent candidate and has not been shy to buck the president's agenda on key policy issues.

McCain's willingness to split with his party – and in turn Trump – was on full display last week when he joined two of his GOP colleagues in voting down a so-called "skinny" ObamaCare repeal bill.

McCain also took aim at Trump on Thursday over his handling of the war in Afghanistan, saying his administration like previous ones had failed to provide a cohesive strategy.

“I urge the President to resolve the differences within his administration as soon as possible and decide on a policy and strategy that can achieve our national security interests in Afghanistan and the region," McCain said in a statement.