McCain slams Trump for hard line on North Korea

John McCain

On Tuesday, President Trump responded to news that the North Korean regime is now capable of putting nuclear weapons on ICBMs with a warning that the regime would face “fire and fury like the world has never seen.”  Naturally, this triggered Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who — once again — chose to undercut the Commander-in-Chief with sharp criticism.

“I take exception to the president’s comments because you got to be sure you can do what you say you’re going to do,” he told Arizona radio station KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos. “In other words the old ‘walk softly but carry a big stick’ — Teddy Roosevelt’s saying, which I think is something that should have applied — because all it’s going to do is bring us closer to some kind of serious confrontation.”

KTAR added:

McCain said he would prefer Trump take the advice of former President Theodore Roosevelt in that he should speak softly, but carry a big stick.

“The great leaders I’ve seen don’t threaten unless they’re ready to act and I’m not sure President Trump is ready to act,” he said.

McCain said he did not know if Trump’s threat was serious and may have just been showmanship.

“It’s not terrible in what he said,” the senator said. “It’s the classic Trump in that he overstates things.”

Despite all of North Korea’s blustering, McCain did not think leader Kim Jong Un was truly ready to go to war.

“I think the rotund ruler in Pyongyang is crazy but he’s not ready to go to the brink,” McCain added.

But as our own TK Whiteman reported on Tuesday, citing Reuters, the North Korean dictator is reportedly looking at plans to attack Guam in response to Trump’s statement.

“North Korea said on Wednesday it is ‘carefully examining’ a plan to strike the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam with missiles, just hours after U.S. President Donald Trump told the North that any threat to the United States would be met with ‘fire and fury’,” Reuters said, adding:

A spokesman for the Korean People’s Army, in a statement carried by the North’s state-run KCNA news agency, said the strike plan will be “put into practice in a multi-current and consecutive way any moment” once leader Kim Jong Un makes a decision.

In another statement citing a different military spokesman, North Korea also said it could carry out a pre-emptive operation if the United States showed signs of provocation.

KTAR said that McCain has long been critical of Kim Jong Un:

McCain has long been a vocal critic of North Korea. In March, he labeled Un as a “crazy fat kid” during an interview with MSNBC.

He also claimed Otto Warmbier, a 22-year-old American who was taken prisoner after stealing a piece of propaganda, was murdered by North Korea.

On Tuesday, presidential adviser Sebastian Gorka told KTAR 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News said he hoped sanctions leveled by the United Nations against the small country on the Korean peninsula would serve their purpose.

“If there’s a chance of dealing with this peacefully, it’s what just happened last weekend,” he said.

McCain may have been referring to a U.N. Security Council vote Friday in which the members unanimously condemned North Korea after it launched two ICBMs in July.

The question now is, when the time comes, who will McCain support?  Will he side with the president, or will he try to undermine him?

What do you think?  Let us know in the comments below.

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