Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) criticized President Trump Tuesday for Trump’s hawkish remarks on North Korea, saying Trump shouldn’t threaten the regime unless he is ready to back it up with action.
Trump ramped up the rhetoric against North Korea Tuesday after multiple reports of military escalation from the rogue regime. Trump won a diplomatic coup Saturday when the U.N. voted unanimously to slap massive sanctions on North Korea — avoiding vetoes from Russia and China.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the country had developed miniaturized nuclear warheads for its missiles — with the potential to hit the U.S.
“North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” Trump said.
McCain, being interviewed on Arizona radio station KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Mac & Gaydos, said he wasn’t surprised by the development in Pyongyang, but criticized Trump for his tough remarks.
“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 said. “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.”
McCain also pointed to China as the key to solving the crisis, suggesting it would make a big difference if China were to clamp down on the rogue regime, and called on Trump to sit down with President Xi Jinping to get them to crack down on North Korea.
But he also expressed confusion about what Trump was referring to when he spoke about “fire and fury.”
“I don’t know what he’s saying and I have long ago given up trying to interpret what he says,” he said, before adding that he believes that other great presidents wouldn’t have spoken in those terms.
“The great leaders I’ve seen, they don’t threaten unless they are ready to act and I’m not sure President Trump is ready to act,” he said.
“Maybe it’ll turn out alright, he’s the president I’m not, but I don’t think some of the great leaders I admired would have taken that same path,” he added.
Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter: @AdamShawNY