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McCain scolds White House for 'crazy' leaks on Syria air strikes

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Wednesday expressed outrage over leaks related to possible air strikes on Syria, calling them “crazy.”

McCain pointed to reports that say U.S. air strikes on Syria could begin as early as Friday.

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The Republican senator, who has long called for more aggressive U.S. action against Syria, said the leaks are tipping the U.S. hand.

“But all of these leaks, when strikes are going to take place, where, what’s going to be used, if I were [Syrian President] Bashar Assad, I think I would declare tomorrow a snow day and keep everything from work,” McCain said on Fox News. “This is crazy. These leaks are just crazy.”

McCain reiterated his long-standing criticism of President Obama’s Syrian policy, saying Assad was encouraged to do more chemical attacks when the U.S. failed to punish him for initial attacks.

He also said Obama’s policies have been inconsistent in that the goal of pending attacks would not be regime change even though Obama has said he wants Assad out of power.

“This is the same president that two years ago said that Bashar Assad must leave office and so where is America’s credibility? Where is our ability to influence events in the region?” McCain said on “Fox and Friends.” “What is the president’s policy?”

The White House said Tuesday that Obama is not seeking “regime change” in Syria, instead weighing a response to the violation of “an international standard” barring the use of chemical weapons.

McCain also slammed Obama’s policy toward Syria on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“Isn’t it contradictory that [Obama] said [Assad] must go, and now he is saying this isn’t aimed at regime change?” McCain said on Wednesday. “And if it isn’t aimed at regime change what is it aimed at?”