Arizona Republican Senator John McCain harshly criticized President Barack Obama Thursday, telling reporters that he was “directly responsible” for Sunday’s terrorist attack on an Orlando gay club.
Reporters at the gaggle tweeted that McCain tied the reportedly ISIS-inspired attack to Obama’s failure to defeat the group in the Middle East.
McCAIN: Obama is ‘directly responsible’ for Orlando because he pulled troops from Iraq, bungled Syria
— Mike DeBonis (@mikedebonis) June 16, 2016
@SenJohnMcCain says Obama is “directly responsible” for Orlando shootings because of growth of Islamic State on his watch
— DonnaCassataAP (@DonnaCassataAP) June 16, 2016
McCain just told group of reporters, several times, that Obama is “directly responsible” for Orlando shooting bc of growth of Isis
— Erica Werner (@ericawerner) June 16, 2016
McCain also criticized Obama and blamed him for the rise of ISIS following the Paris terrorist attacks last year, but did not make as direct a connection to the attacks themselves. “It’s because of the president of the United States’ failed policies, ‘leading from behind,’ which has led to this chaos and renewed influence and growth of ISIS,” he argued.
UPDATE 4:40p.m. ET: John McCain released a statement clarifying what he meant.
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