Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainDole to lie in state in Capitol Rotunda Bob Dole: A great leader of the 'Greatest Generation' The bully who pulls the levers of Trump's mind never learns MORE (R-Ariz.) says Donald TrumpDonald TrumpSenate rejects attempt to block Biden's Saudi arms sale Crenshaw slams House Freedom Caucus members as 'grifters,' 'performance artists' Senate confirms Biden's nominee to lead Customs and Border Protection MORE doesn’t understand what’s going on in Syria, taking a shot at his party’s front-runner in the 2016 GOP presidential primary.
McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a leading Republican authority on national security issues, was responding to Trump’s statement in a recent interview that the United States should not intervene the war-torn country.
“Let Syria and ISIS fight. Why can’t we let ISIS and Syria fight? Let Russia, they’re in Syria already, let them fight ISIS. Let Russia take care of ISIS. How many places can we be?” Trump said.
McCain dismissed Trump’s stance as uninformed.
“I don’t think he understands very well the situation. He’s entitled to his opinion,” McCain said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Russia launched airstrikes in Syria last week, but U.S. officials say they have targeted U.S.-backed rebels, not the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, as Russia had originally claimed.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is a political ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad, whom President Obama is trying to push out of power. Obama has called for a “managed transition” to new leadership in Syria.