As Trump returns, McCain embarks on overseas apology tour

by WorldTribune Staff, May 30, 2017

The 2008 GOP candidate who lost to a two-term U.S. president known for expressing regrets about his country while abroad has gone down under to apologize for Barack Obama’s Republican succcessor.

Sen. John McCain, in a May 30 speech in Sydney, Australia, said President Donald Trump had unsettled some U.S. allies during the 45th president’s first overseas trip.

Sen. John McCain speaks at the United States Studies Centre in Sydney on May 30. / AP

“Other American allies have similar doubts these days and this is understandable,” McCain, 80, told a crowd at the University of Sydney’s U.S. Studies Centre. “I realize that some of President Trump’s actions and statements have unsettled America’s friends. They have unsettled many Americans as well.”

Trump reportedly had a testy phone call in January with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in which the U.S. president called a refugee resettlement pact between the two countries the “worst deal ever.” During a meeting with Turnbull earlier this month, Trump denied the conversation was difficult and said the allies “will remain friends for a very long time.”

McCain, chairman of U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, also criticized Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

According to a Bloomberg report, McCain said Australia didn’t need to choose between an economic relationship with China and security ties with the U.S. and encouraged efforts to enact TPP without the U.S.

“I would urge you to keep at it,” McCain said. “And hopefully, someday in the future, under different circumstances, America will decide to join you.”

During his trip, Trump told NATO leaders they had fallen short of what they “owed” to the alliance by $119 billion and prodded them to pay more.

After three days with Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told supporters at a campaign event in Munich on May 28 that “the times when we could fully rely on others are to some extent over.”

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