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McCain defies Trump over G7 controversy: ‘America stands with you, even if our president doesn’t’
Gage Skidmore / CCL
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) won’t stop giving Democrats reasons to like him. The Arizona senator fell in line with Dems over the weekend, blasting President Donald Trump over his controversial statements on trade and diplomacy at the G7 summit in Canada this weekend.
“Americans stand with you, even if our president doesn’t,” the ailing politician wrote, addressing U.S. allies.
McCain: Republican in Name Only
Trump backtracked Saturday evening on an earlier joint statement of commitment with G7 nations after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau criticized the U.S. president’s trade policy and promised retaliation at his closing conference. Trump had signed the communique, but later said that he had told U.S. representatives “not to endorse” it after Trudeau’s comments, writing on Twitter:
Based on Justin’s false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our U.S. farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the U.S. Market!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2018
McCain reacted to Trump’s statement that evening with his own tweet singling out Trump, as he has often done, for defying the status quo. In true “RINO” form, McCain joined a chorus of Democrats denouncing Trump for railing against the free-trade, globalist consensus trumpeted by G7 member nations, writing:
To our allies: bipartisan majorities of Americans remain pro-free trade, pro-globalization & supportive of alliances based on 70 years of shared values. Americans stand with you, even if our president doesn’t.
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) June 10, 2018
World leaders come out against Trump
The row with Canada continued after the summit, with Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow saying Trudeau “really stabbed us in the back.” Meanwhile, the European Union (EU) and U.K. came to Trudeau’s defense, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Europe would impose retaliatory tariffs against Trump’s duties on aluminum and steel.
This all comes after Trump struck a bold tone at the summit on tariffs and trade, reiterating criticisms he has often made that U.S. allies are ripping off America by not paying their fair shares in regard to NATO and by maintaining unbalanced trade relationships with America. Trump even compared America to a “piggy bank that everybody is robbing.”
The president had also suggested before the summit that Russia, which was expelled from the G8 after annexing Crimea in 2014, should be allowed to join the G7. McCain targeted Trump’s remarks on Russia Friday, calling them “inexplicable.”
“Vladimir Putin chose to make #Russia unworthy of membership in the G-8 by invading Ukraine and annexing Crimea,” McCain tweeted. “Nothing he has done since then has changed that most obvious fact.”
McCain stands with Dems
McCain’s rebuke resonated with leading Democrats. House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) slammed Trump for “alienating” America, tweeting: “This week started with [Donald Trump] boosting a Chinese company identified as a national security threat to the U.S. It ended with him standing up for Russia and alienating our allies at the G7.”
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) joined Pelosi and McCain in criticizing Trump for his Russia comments. Schumer even suggested that Trump was working for Russia’s national security rather than America’s, writing:
Are we executing Putin’s diplomatic and national security strategy or AMERICA’s diplomatic and national security strategy? After the last few days, it’s hard to tell.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) June 9, 2018
Trump has faced enough opposition from world leaders for promoting American interests at G7. While the disapproval of Pelosi and Schumer is to be expected, the last thing Trump needs is leaders from his own party taking shots at him on the global stage.
McCain’s brand of “conservatism” is played out. He can continue to side with the Democrats, but President Trump is committed to setting America on a new course toward greatness, with or without McCain’s approval.
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