McCain: Trump performance 'disgraceful'

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe electoral reality that the media ignores Kelly's lead widens to 10 points in Arizona Senate race: poll COVID response shows a way forward on private gun sale checks MORE (R-Ariz.) called the U.S.-Russia summit in Helsinki “a tragic mistake” and faulted President TrumpDonald John TrumpHR McMaster says president's policy to withdraw troops from Afghanistan is 'unwise' Cast of 'Parks and Rec' reunite for virtual town hall to address Wisconsin voters Biden says Trump should step down over coronavirus response 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.