McCain: Hagan skipped crucial ISIS hearings

Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe 10 Senate seats most likely to flip What does Joe Biden believe about NASA, space exploration and commercial space? The Memo: Activists press Biden on VP choice MORE (R-Ariz.) blasted Sen. Kay HaganKay Ruthven HaganThe Hill's Campaign Report: North Carolina emerges as key battleground for Senate control Tillis wins North Carolina Senate primary Coronavirus poses risks for Trump in 2020 MORE (D-N.C.) on the North Carolina campaign trail, saying she skipped meetings of the Senate Armed Services Committee while Islamic militants executed two U.S. citizens.
 
“Here we are with Americans being beheaded, and Sen. Hagan doesn’t even show up for the briefing,” McCain told reporters after a Tuesday stop for GOP Senate hopeful Thom TillisThomas (Thom) Roland TillisTillis campaign releases first general election TV ad emphasizing 'humble' roots The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Cuomo rings the first opening bell since March The Democrats' out-party advantage in 2020 MORE, The Charlotte Observer reported.
 

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“She goes to a fundraiser instead,” McCain added after an event that included Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), another member of the powerful Senate panel.
 
The criticism echoes a line of attack Tillis has used against the incumbent in recent weeks, cutting an ad charging Hagan “did cocktails” while the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) “grew” and that she missed more than half of the committee's hearings.
 
The terror group, which still controls large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria, beheaded two American journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff, in gruesome propaganda films uploaded to the Internet.
 
McCain’s remarks come a day after he criticized another Armed Services Democrat, Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenThis week: Surveillance fight sets early test for House's proxy voting Open Skies withdrawal throws nuclear treaty into question GOP faces internal conflicts on fifth coronavirus bill MORE (N.H.), for not being a “serious member" of the committee.
 
Both women are in tough races that could decide which party controls the upper chamber next year.
 
McCain, who is widely expected to chair Armed Services should the GOP win next week at the polls, also repeated his calls for a more robust response to ISIS, including sending up to 10,000 advisers, special forces and support personnel into the Middle East to defeat the terror group.
 
“ISIS is winning,” he said. “We’re losing.”
 
Tillis backed the senior lawmaker’s calls for greater U.S. involvement.
 
“What Sen. [McCain] is talking about is not having people at the front lines,” he told reporters. “I think we’ve got the expectation that we’re going to have partners in the Middle East and others. But we’ve got to have American expertise in advisory positions to make sure they do it right, and to make sure that once we secure the ground again, we keep it.”

Hagan's campaign dismissed the criticism.

Hagan “has a 98 percent voting attendance record” on the committee and has chaired "more than 20 hearings on counterterrorism," according to spokesman Chris Hayden.

“It is Speaker Tillis who has repeatedly refused to tell North Carolina service members and their families whether he would support putting American boots on the ground and how he would combat the threat of ISIS,” Hayden added.

— Updated at 11:16 a.m.