New York - Anne McElvoy, senior editor at The Economist newspaper interviews Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) on Economist Radio. McCain spoke bluntly about the Senate stand off over confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. He also addressed Secretary of State Tillerson’s statement on Syria and assessed President Vladimir Putin of Russia.
Listen to the audio here and read excerpts below.
Senate stand off over Gorsuch confirmation:
I’ve lost the battle on the nuclear option because there is a new degree of partisanship and there is a lack of comity between Republicans and Democrats and frankly a lot of it is driven by outside influences which drive people to the extremes.
On Sec of State Rex Tillerson and Syria:
To make a statement that the Syrian people will determine their own future themselves – that is one of the most unusual depictions of the facts on the ground that I have ever heard of. What about, Iranian revolutionary Guard, what about the Russians, what about Hezbollah? If it wasn’t for these outside influences, Bashar Assad would be residing in some other place – I hope in hell.
On Vladimir Putin:
A thug, a gangster and a pragmatist" and “Nemtsov murdered in the shadow of the Kremlin? Do you think that happened and there is no record of it? He is the leader of the country. He is responsible. Should I blame it on the thug who pulled the trigger. He is an old KGB thug. He has played a weak hand with unbelievable skill.
On Trump’s temperament and tweeting:
What you keep getting at with these almost repeated question is: Is he mercurial ? Yes. Is he predictable? No, Does we want him to do tweets about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ratings? No . I’m not defending him in these tweet storms that seem to emanate in the early hours of the morning, but I do say that he respects the people around him and their judgement and advice (on national security) , I believe he respects them and he has a hell of a mess to clear up after the last 8 years – the worst in national security since the 1930s.
The tweeting is not smart because it diverts attention to issues that are not from presidential, Criticising Arnold Schwarzenegger: that’s a waste of his time and ours.
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