McCain: ‘Whatever happened to the president’s red line?’

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Sunday stepped up his criticism of a deal to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons. 

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“Whatever happened to the president’s red line where he said if they use these chemical weapons, we will respond?” McCain asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“It’s not a matter of trust, it’s matter of whether it will be enforced or not,” McCain said. 

"Suppose that this deal is made and then Bashar Assad does not comply and continues, by the way, the slaughter of over 100,000 people,” the Arizona Republican added, noting that the agreement announced on Saturday by Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov did not include a threat of military force if the Assad regime did not comply. 

“It is now in the hands of Russia to decide if Bashar Assad is complying or not,” McCain said.

“That puts an entirely different case on it,” McCain said, adding that Russia has not assigned blame to the Assad regime for an August chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs that killed 1,200 people and Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed Syrian rebels for the attack in an op-ed in The New York Times last week.

"If it works, we’re going to see the Russians facilitating the departure of chemical weapons while planeload after planeload of Russian aircraft coming into Damascus are full of weapons and devices to kill Syrians.”

“Up until a few days ago, not one single weapon had reached the hands of the Free Syrian Army except some MRE’s whose time was about to expire,” McCain added.

President Obama's pursuit of a Syrian disarmament deal with Russia is an "act of provocative weakness" by the White House, opening the door to further aggression by Iran and other U.S. adversaries, McCain and Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) said Saturday.

The deal "requires a willful suspension of disbelief to see this agreement as anything other than the start of a diplomatic blind alley, and the Obama Administration is being led into it" by Moscow and Damascus, the GOP senators said.

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