Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainSenate confirms four Biden ambassadors after delay Meghan McCain to Trump: 'Thanks for the publicity' Grant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 MORE (R-Ariz.) blasted President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaBiden invokes Trump in bid to boost McAuliffe ahead of Election Day RNC targets McAuliffe, Biden campaign event with mobile billboard The real reason Biden is going to the COP26 climate summit MORE for going ahead with a prescheduled fundraiser in New York City on Thursday night after the downing of a commercial airliner in Ukraine earlier in the day. 

"This is just what we used to call in the military AWOL," he said on Fox News. 


At the time McCain made his remarks, the Obama administration was still reviewing whether any Americans were onboard the downed Malaysia Airlines flight. President Obama on Friday said at least one American died in the crash.

"This is directly loss of American lives here," McCain said. "And the president goes to a fundraiser? Help me out."

McCain harkened back to earlier this month when Obama was criticized for attending fundraisers in Texas but not visiting the border amid the surge of child immigrants flowing into the country. 

"I don't understand this president," he said. "Crisis on the border, he did the fundraisers, the fundraisers in New York while there are major, major conflicts, not to mention the loss of American lives, is reported that there were Americans on that airplane. I do not understand it."

President Obama briefly addressed the tragedy during an event in Delaware, offering his thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims. Obama spoke with a number of world leaders on Thursday about the crash and directed his team to stay in close contact with Ukrainian authorities. 

On Thursday night, he attended a Democratic National Committee fundraiser, and another event for the super-PAC, House Majority PAC. 

Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) described Obama's decision to attend the fundraiser as "disgraceful."

"He shouldn't be at fundraiser tonight," King said on Fox News. "That's absolutely disgraceful for the president of the United States.”

King described Obama’s decision as one in a pattern, saying there seems to be "an emotional barrier he has."

"Again, Benghazi out to Las Vegas to raise money after the Americans are killed in Benghazi," he said. "It's a failure of leadership. And it's really, again, any president can make a mistake, but this is a pattern. It's a long-established pattern in times of crisis that he seems to just zone out."

— This story was updated at 1:21 p.m.