McCain Says Obama "Directly Responsible" For Orlando Mass Shooting, Then Promptly Retracts

Update: That didn't take long


* * *

With the fingerpointing over the culpability of the Orlando shooting a raging issue in this week's political news cycle, earlier today neocon senator John McCain said President Obama was “directly responsible” for the terror attack in Orlando due to his failure to combat the rise of the Islamic State terror group. As AP reported, McCain, who lost to Obama in the 2008 presidential election, made the comment to reporters Thursday while Obama was in Orlando visiting with the families of those killed in Sunday's attack and some of the survivors.

Of course, McCain's agenda was simple: send more troops to Iraq.  McCain’s statement echoes remarks made this week by Donald Trump, who according to Politico, seemed to connect Obama to the attack in a Monday interview and on Wednesday tweeted an article claiming that Obama “actively supported” the terrorist group that became the Islamic State.

After the shooting early Sunday morning, presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump said the president either didn't understand the radical Islamic terrorist threat or he "gets it better than anybody understands." "We're led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he's got something else in mind," Trump said earlier this week.

"And the something else in mind, you know, people can't believe it, people cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can't even mention the words 'radical Islamic terrorism.' There's something going on — it's inconceivable. There's something going on."

As Politico further adds, McCain made his remarks in a Senate hallway to a small group of reporters, responding to a question about the gun-control debate that has flared on Capitol Hill since the worst mass shooting in US history this Sunday.  He answered the question about guns by citing Obama’s culpability for the attack through his foreign policy.

When pressed by a reporter on the claim that Obama was “directly” responsible, McCain reiterated his point — that Obama should not have withdrawn combat troops from Iraq and should have made a more determined effort to intervene in the Syrian civil war.

McCain, who lost the presidential race to Obama in 2008, is facing what may be the toughest reelection of his Senate career in a race against Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.). As The Hill adds, Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) office called McCain's comments "unhinged," saying they are "just the latest proof that Senate Republicans are puppets of Donald Trump." "This is the party of Trump," a release from Reid's office said, adding there is "no daylight between Senate Republicans and Donald Trump."

It is unclear if Trump, who early in his presidential campaign mocked McCain, would endorse the senator's statement.