McCain: Putin is 'evil' and 'intent on evil deeds'

McCain: Putin is 'evil' and 'intent on evil deeds'
© Camille Fine

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainMellman: Where are good faith and integrity? GOP senator says Republicans didn't control Senate when they held majority Pence met with silence after mentioning Trump in Munich speech MORE (R-Ariz.) tore into Russian President Vladimir Putin in a newly released excerpt of his upcoming book, calling Putin an “evil man” who is “intent on evil deeds.”

McCain writes in the excerpt, published Thursday in The Wall Street Journal, that Putin is seeking “the destruction of the liberal world order that the United States has led and that has brought more stability, prosperity and freedom to humankind than has ever existed in history.”

And he warned that Putin will likely interfere in other elections “because it worked and because he has not been made to stop.”

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McCain also called on President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff urges GOP colleagues to share private concerns about Trump publicly US-China trade talks draw criticism for lack of women in pictures Overnight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall MORE to take Putin more seriously as a threat to the U.S. and democracy.

“President Trump seems to vary from refusing to believe what Putin is doing to just not caring about it,” McCain writes. “To his credit, he overturned the Obama policy and supplied lethal assistance to Ukraine. But he needs to comprehend the nature of the threat Putin poses. He needs to understand Putin’s nature, and ours.”

The senator also called to “fight Vladimir Putin as determinedly as he fights us.”

“We will stop him when we stop letting our partisan and personal interests expose our national security interests, even the integrity of our democracy and the rule of law, to his predation,” McCain wrote.

“We will stop him when we start believing in ourselves again and when we remember that our exceptionalism hasn’t anything to do with what we are — prosperous, powerful, envied — but with who we are: a people united by ideals, not ethnicity or geography, and determined to stand by those values, not just here at home but throughout the world," he said.

McCain has been a frequent critic of Putin over the years, and has also used his upcoming memoir to criticize Trump.