Even from his sickbed, John McCain continues to be the rare Republican willing to stand up to President Trump and call him out when he gets things wrong – and the senior Senator from Arizona believes Trump got it very wrong with North Korea.
McCain, who has a strong military background and experience the president lacks, believes Trump who is supposed to be a great negotiator used a “bad negotiating tactic” with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un.
“Suspending U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises is a mistake,” McCain said in a statement today.
“Making unnecessary and unreciprocated concessions is not in our interests – and it is a bad negotiating tactic.”
The Pentagon today indefinitely suspended the biannual major military exercises with South Korea that were supposed to take place this fall, the French news agency AFP reported today.
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John McCain criticized Trump's "bad negotiating tactic" with Kim Jong Un https://t.co/h6Zg0llVPR
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) June 14, 2018
In granting North Korea’s request to end the “war games” with South Korea and calling them “provocative,” McCain said that Trump was just “parroting Chinese and North Korean propaganda.”
McCain said he shares the goal of achieving “complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, but we must not impose upon ourselves the burden of providing so-called ‘good faith’ concessions as the price for continued dialogue.”
He then accused North Korea of being a danger to the world.
“It is North Korea – through its nuclear and missile programs, aggressive behavior, and egregious human rights violations – that poses the greatest threat to peace,” stated McCain.
“Amnd until North Korea takes concrete steps to change that,” added McCain, “no concessions should be made, and the sanctions must continue.”
McCain also pointed a sharp barb at Trump for making decisions about suspending military exercises and other choices without full consultation with our key allies.
“Moving forward,” warned McCain, “we must work closely with our allies, especially South Korea and Japan, which have critical equities in the outcome of this diplomatic process.”
McCain has continued to speak out about Trump even as he is being treated. He has disagreed with Trump on raising tariffs on steel, attacking the FBI, going after the press and praising Russia’s Vladamir Putin after he won re-election in a fixed contest.
Suspending US-South Korea joint military exercises is a mistake. I hope the President is successful in his efforts to achieve full denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. But making unnecessary & unreciprocated concessions is not in our interests. https://t.co/ntvxgEVAwz
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) June 14, 2018
At a time many Republicans just rubber stamp Trump and endorse the crazy lies he spews, McCain remains the maverick independent whose opinions still matter at some level.