Republican Senator John McCain on Thursday stated that President Donald Trump’s rhetoric at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit is “disappointing” and not representative of the United States.
“There is little use in parsing the President’s misstatements and bluster, except to say that they are the words of one man. Americans, and their Congress, still believe in the transatlantic alliance and [NATO], and it is clear that our allies still believe in us as well,” McCain said in a statement.
The Arizona Republican, who still battles brain cancer, added that Trump’s “performance” in Brussels was “disappointing, yet ultimately unsurprising.”
According to CNN, Trump sparked disbelief among European allies for his rhetoric at the summit, including his brief war of words with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Trump, at the beginning of the summit, stated that Germany was “captive” to Russia because of an energy pipeline coming from NATO’s rival. At the summit, Trump also repeated his calls for allies to increase their defense spending.
Congress took symbolic shots at Trump’s rhetoric this week, with the House passing a resolution supporting NATO and the Senate using a procedural vote to signal its support.
Trump traveled to the United Kingdom after the NATO summit on Thursday after which he is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki on Monday.
McCain also said that Trump must “reverse his disturbing tendency to show America’s adversaries the deference and esteem that should be reserved for allies.”
He later added that the world will be watching the one-on-one meeting, urging Trump to be “strong and tough” against Putin.
“It is up to President Trump to hold Putin accountable for his actions during the meeting in Helsinki. Failure to do so would be a serious indictment of his stewardship of American leadership in the world,” he said.