McCain: Trump performance 'disgraceful'

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainEsper faces tough questions on dismissal of aircraft carrier's commander Democratic super PAC targets McSally over coronavirus response GOP senator suspending campaign fundraising, donating paycheck amid coronavirus pandemic MORE (R-Ariz.) called the U.S.-Russia summit in Helsinki “a tragic mistake” and faulted President TrumpDonald John TrumpCDC updates website to remove dosage guidance on drug touted by Trump Trump says he'd like economy to reopen 'with a big bang' but acknowledges it may be limited Graham backs Trump, vows no money for WHO in next funding bill MORE for “naiveté” and “egotism” in meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He also labeled Trump's press conference with Putin as “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.”

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McCain, a frequent critic of Trump's who has often blasted the president for not being tougher with Russia, criticized him for failing to believe the findings of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election over Putin’s denial.

“President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin,” McCain said in a statement.

“He and Putin seemed to be speaking from the same script as the president made a conscious choice to defend a tyrant against the fair questions of a free press, and to grant Putin an uncontested platform to spew propaganda and lies to the world,” McCain added. 

McCain said watching Trump’s press conference with Putin was especially “painful” after Trump criticized longtime NATO ally Germany as “totally controlled by Russia.”

“Coming close on the heels of President Trump’s bombastic and erratic conduct towards our closest friends and allies in Brussels and Britain, today’s press conference marks a recent low point in the history of the American presidency,” he said.

McCain has long voiced confidence in Trump’s national security team, which he praised Monday as “competent and patriotic,” and said he found it “inexplicable” how they allowed the president’s “blunders and capitulations” to happen.

“No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant,” McCain lamented.