McCain refuses to answer questions about Trump

McCain refuses to answer questions about Trump

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGOP senators appalled by 'ridiculous' House infighting MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace, Chris Christie battle over Fox News Trump's attacks on McConnell seen as prelude to 2024 White House bid MORE (R-Ariz.) on Tuesday said he's done answering questions about President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel faces double-edged sword with Alex Jones, Roger Stone Trump goes after Woodward, Costa over China Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves MORE

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“I’m not talking about Donald Trump. I didn’t before the election and I’m not doing so afterwards,” McCain told reporters.

“I’m working on defending this nation as chairman of the Armed Services Committee, so you are wasting your time asking me about Donald Trump’s day-to-day comments or what his positions are.”

McCain, who was recently reelected, had previously refused to answer questions about Trump. He was a frequent critic of Trump during the campaign, even pulling his support for the then-GOP nominee following the leak of the 2005 tape where Trump bragged about groping women without their consent.

Shortly after the tapes were leaked in October, McCain told a Politico reporter to get off the Senate subway train if he intended to ask a question about Trump.

Asked about Trump's Tuesday morning tweet backing punishment for flag burning, McCain reiterated he wouldn’t comment on the president-elect, but did say that he’s open to some form of punishment.

"I think there should be some punishment, but right now the Supreme Court decision is that people are free to express themselves that way,” McCain said, according to CNN.

"But I do not approve of it and I think there's other ways for people to express their views rather than burn a flag that so many Americans fought and died for," said the Vietnam War veteran and POW.

Trump made headlines Tuesday for suggesting in a tweet that people who burn flags could have their citizenship revoked or receive a year in jail. Burning the American flag is protected as free speech under the First Amendment. 

Asked about losing citizenship as punishment, McCain demurred. "I do not comment on Mr. Trump's comments. I am not and will not.”