On CNN’s State of the Union With Candy Crowley on Sunday, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) said the Obama administration’s response to the current Egyptian crisis has destroyed American credibility in the region.
“This administration,” he concluded, “did not do that after threatening to do so.”
McCain doubled down on his calls for the United States to end aid to the Egyptian military in light of their recent crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood. “We do have influence, but when you don’t use that influence, you don’t have that influence,” he said.
Unlike the Obama administration, which has avoided defining the military’s ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood’s President Morsi, McCain called it a “coup,” a claim he first made earlier in the month.
McCain also said that the military is not on the path to restore a democratic government in Egypt, and the military’s recent actions are not consistent with American values. “American interests are American values,” McCain said.
McCain’s statements to Crowley followed the script of his joint announcement on Friday with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) in which they called on the Obama administration to cut off the $1.5 billion in annual aid the United States provides to Egypt.
McCain and Graham are following the lead of Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) who had each criticized the Obama administration’s handling of the Egyptian crisis and called for a halt in American aid.
On Thursday, Cruz said in a statement that “[t]he first step is to send an unequivocal message that the United States is a nation of laws and suspend aid to Egypt.” The current Egyptian crisis, he added, is “the most recent manifestation of this administration’s failed policy in that country.”