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McCain: Pentagon cuts 'a serious mistake'

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainChoking — not cheating — was Trump's undoing Gabby Giffords congratulates Mark Kelly with throwback photo of her own swearing-in McConnell in tough position as House eyes earmark return MORE (R-Ariz.) on Tuesday said the Pentagon’s proposed cuts are “a serious mistake” that send the wrong signal internationally.

McCain, who has worked to cut wasteful Defense Department projects throughout his career, nonetheless criticized the size of the cuts proposed Monday by the Pentagon. 

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“I believe that, when we are sending the signal that we are cutting defense, I think in this very dangerous world that we live in, is a serious mistake," McCain said in an interview on CNN’s “New Day.”

"There are savings that could be made in defense, but when we’re making cuts this size, it concerns me a great deal, especially since we’re increasing domestic spending,” McCain said. 

On Monday, Defense Secretary Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelFormer Republican national security officials demand GOP leaders denounce Trump's refusal to concede election Republicans who could serve in a Biden government How a tied Senate could lead a divided America MORE unveiled a 2015 budget that would shrink the Army from 520,000 troops to between 440,000 and 450,000 troops over five years. That would reduce the Army to its smallest size since before World War II. 

The Pentagon also plans to reduce the size of the Army National Guard, the Army Reserve and the Marine Corps over the next five years.

Several Republican governors who were attending events at the White House on Monday criticized the Obama administration for cutting the National Guard. 

Military bases would also close under the proposed budget, and benefits would be cut for active duty service members and their families.