John McCain Blasts Rex Tillerson: War In Syria "Not About Whether They're Right And We're Wrong"


Sen. John McCain blasts Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's comment that maybe [Russia] has the right approach and maybe we have the wrong approach in Syria.

McCain said: "They look up to us because of our advocacy of freedom. That's what America is supposed to be all about, not whether they're right and we're wrong."

DICKERSON: I want to ask you about Syria. Let's listen to something that Secretary of State Tillerson said about the Russians, who have interests in Syria, and the United States. Let's listen to the secretary.

REX TILLERSON, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: By and large, our objectives are exactly the same. How we get there, we each have a view. Maybe they have got the right approach and we have got the wrong approach.

DICKERSON: Do the Russians have the right approach?

MCCAIN: You can't make that up. You can't make that up.

These are the same people that use precision-graded weapons to strike hospitals in Aleppo where sick and wounded people are. This is just -- you know, I -- preparing myself mentally to be on this show, I said, John, you're not going to get upset, you're not going to get emotional.

But I have met the White Hats. I know what the slaughter has been like. I know that the Russians knew that Bashar al-Assad was going to use chemical weapons. And to say that maybe we have got the wrong approach?

Look, I agonized over voting for or against Tillerson for secretary of state, not that I didn't admire his success and all the great things he's done, but the things that he said in the past. He has divorced a fundamental of American democracy. The reason why we are the shining city on the hill, as Ronald Reagan used to say, is because they look up to us because of our principles and our beliefs and our advocacy of freedom -- for freedom.

That's what America is supposed to be all about, not whether they're right and we're wrong. We know who is right and who is wrong here.

DICKERSON: You regret that vote for Tillerson?

MCCAIN: Sometimes I do. But I'm still torn by the fact that the American people chose this president, and he ought to be able to have his team.

When Barack Obama won in 2008, in 2009, I voted for his team, because I think that the American people wanted him to have his team. But don't think I wasn't worried about it, really worried.

Also, watch the full interview with McCain:

Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee John McCain, R-Arizona, says Russia has to pay a price for its meddling in democratic elections.

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