While tears are yet to dry over the shocking shooting in a US gay night club which left 50 people dead, a Senator has made a new claim about Obama’s role in the attack.
American elder Republican statesman and highly revererd politician, Sen. John McCain has 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.
McCain’s statement follows remarks made this week by presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, who 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.
According to Washington Post, 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 Sunday-morning shooting that left 49 clubgoers and the gunman dead.
McCain answered the question about the gun debate by citing Obama’s culpability for the attack through his foreign policy: “Barack Obama is directly responsible for it, because when he pulled everybody out of Iraq, al-Qaeda went to Syria, became ISIS, and ISIS is what it is today thanks to Barack Obama’s failures,” McCain said.
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a reporter on the claim that Obama was “directly” responsible, McCain reiterated his point — that Obama should not have withdrawn combat troops from Iraq:
“He pulled everybody out of Iraq, and I predicted at the time that ISIS would go unchecked, and there would be attacks on the United States of America,” he said. “It’s a matter of record, so he is directly responsible.”
However, in a statement released Thursday afternoon after the comments were publicized, McCain said he “misspoke.”
“I did not mean to imply that the President was personally responsible,” he said. “I was referring to President Obama’s national security decisions, not the President himself. As I have said, President Obama’s decision to completely withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011 led to the rise of ISIL. I and others have long warned that the failure of the President’s policy to deny ISIL safe haven would allow the terrorist organization to inspire, plan, direct or conduct attacks on the United States and Europe as they have done in Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino and now Orlando.”