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McCain refuses to answer questions about Trump

McCain refuses to answer questions about Trump

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainGeorge W. Bush: 'It's a problem that Americans are so polarized' they can't imagine him being friends with Michelle Obama Congress brings back corrupt, costly, and inequitably earmarks Trump knocks CNN for 'completely false' report Gaetz was denied meeting MORE (R-Ariz.) on Tuesday said he's done answering questions about President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpGraham: 'I could not disagree more' with Trump support of Afghanistan troop withdrawal GOP believes Democrats handing them winning 2022 campaign Former GOP operative installed as NSA top lawyer resigns 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.”