President Barack Obama’s policies are “directly responsible” for the terrorist attack on an Orlando gay bar because he allowed for the expansion of ISIS, Sen. John McCain said Thursday.
The Washington Post reports that McCain, who is facing a tough primary campaign against Kelli Ward, made the comment to a group of reporters in response to a question about the terror attack and gun control.
“Barack Obama is directly responsible for it, because when he pulled everybody out of Iraq, al-Qaeda went to Syria, became ISIS, and ISIS is what it is today thanks to Barack Obama’s failures,” McCain said, according to The Washington Post.
The Arizona lawmaker stressed that Obama’s decision to pull troops out of Iraq is the reason for ISIS’ rise and attacks on U.S. soil.
“He pulled everybody out of Iraq, and I predicted at the time that ISIS would go unchecked, and there would be attacks on the United States of America,” The Post quoted McCain. “It’s a matter of record, so he is directly responsible.”
After multiple news outlets reported McCain’s comments, the senior Arizona lawmaker took to Twitter to clarify that he was referring to Obama’s policies.
To clarify, I was referring to Pres Obama’s national security decisions that have led to rise of #ISIL, not to the President himself
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) June 16, 2016
Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, slammed McCain’s comments saying, according to The Post, that they are “just the latest proof that Senate Republicans are puppets of Donald Trump.”
Over the weekend a radical Muslim who pledged allegiance to ISIS, murdered 49 people and injured 53 more at a gay bar in Orlando. The attack has been described as the worst terror attack on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001.