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.) on Monday walked back his comments that U.S. leadership under President Trump is worse than when President Barack 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 was in office.
“I never said such a thing. A thousand times I said, ‘Look at the world in 2009 and look at it today.’ Of course, I never said [that]. If I did I was joking,” the Arizona senator reportedly told The Daily Caller.
McCain said last week that while American leadership was better under Obama, there are "different aspects" that are better under the Trump administration.
McCain first said that the U.S. is not currently restoring leadership around the world in reaction to Trump's critical remarks on London Mayor Sadiq Khan. Khan told Londoners they should not be alarmed by the increased police presence following a terrorist attack in London earlier this month.
"Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his 'no reason to be alarmed' statement. [The mainstream media] is working hard to sell it!" Trump tweeted on June 5, shortly after the attack occurred.
Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his "no reason to be alarmed" statement. MSM is working hard to sell it!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 5, 2017
McCain said this sort of message will lead the rest of the world to question U.S. leadership.
"We're not showing leadership around the world," McCain said about the message Trump's remarks send. "[They're] not sure of American leadership, whether it be in Siberia or whether it be in Antartica."