The original tweet from last week that ignited the prime minister’s ire read “Dear Vlad, The #ArabSpring is coming to a neighborhood near you.”
Putin lashed out at McCain when he was asked about the tweet during his annual televised phone-in Thursday, reported The Telegraph.
“Mr. McCain fought in Vietnam. I think that he has enough blood of peaceful citizens on his hands. It must be impossible for him to live without these disgusting scenes anymore,” Putin said, according to The Telegraph. “Mr. McCain was captured and they kept him not just in prison, but in a pit for several years. Anyone [in his place] would go nuts.”
McCain took Putin’s remarks somewhat in stride Thursday, saying he believes the recent protests in Russia have “unsettled” the prime minister.
“I think that obviously Mr. Putin, ‘Vlad’ as I love to call him, is a little bit stunned, but seriously it’s very clear that these uprisings and demonstrations in Russia have really unsettled him and the oligarchy that controls Russia,” McCain said on Fox News Channel’s “America’s Newsroom.”
“I think that’s pretty clear why he reacted in such a strange and vociferous fashion,” he added.
The Arizona senator took to Twitter again Thursday to react to Putin, with this: “Dear Vlad, is it something I said?”
Last week Putin accused Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of inciting protests in Russia against the recent elections by questioning their legitimacy.
McCain came to Clinton’s defense on Twitter, writing: “Putin Accuses Clinton of Instigating #Russia Protests — Really?”