Senator John McCain slams the Obama administration for what he calls a "total and fundamental misreading of Putin and his ambition." While speaking to Anderson, Senator McCain offers some advice, saying he does not see a good military option for the U.S. in Ukraine right now.
Bowe Bergdahl is the only American soldier still in captivity. The Army sergeant was taken in Afghanistan in 2009. The Taliban has long demanded the release of five prisoners from Guantanamo in exchange for his freedom. Today a U.S. official confirmed new discussions led by diplomats and the Pentagon are underway. Senator John McCain is a former prisoner of war and speaks with Anderson about this and frightening developments in Syria.
Sen. John McCain has been very vocal about his disdain for what's been happening in Washington over the last 16 days. From the floor of the Senate he called it one of the more shameful chapters he has seen in all his years in Washington. As the budget deal was heading for a vote, he told Anderson the shutdown was "unacceptable to most Americans and the polls show that."
Anderson talks to Sen. John McCain about the earful he's getting from constituents about possible U.S. military action in Syria.
Tonight on AC360°, Anderson talks to Sen. John McCain about the looming showdown on Capitol Hill over whether the U.S. should strike Syria for using chemical weapons two weeks ago. The Obama administration says more than 1,400 people were killed.
"This is a very, very tough call," McCain told Anderson. Like many of his constituents, the Arizona Republican said he's also "skeptical" of the U.S. assessment on Syria because of Iraq. However, McCain said we are "making a terrible mistake" if we allow the Assad regime to slaughter thousands of Syrians and do nothing. "We sat by and watched and paid a very, very heavy price" during the Holocaust, said McCain. He argues we can't do the same again.
On Wednesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a resolution allowing limited U.S. military action in Syria. However, an amendment from McCain and Democratic Sen. Christopher Coons of Delaware says any U.S. military response is intended to change Assad's battlefield momentum, stronger language than what was first given by the White House.
Does this mean McCain and the White House don't agree? And why would an attack be in the best interest of America’s national security? For those answers, watch the preview clip above and join us at 8 and 10 p.m. ET for more of Anderson's interview with Senator McCain.
Pressure is mounting on the Assad regime, after the latest reports of a deadly chemical attack. Opposition groups say it killed more than 1,300 people. President Obama says the U.S. is still gathering information about what happened, but acknowledged, "this is clearly a big event of grave concern." It is raising serious questions about how his administration will respond. John King spoke with Senator John McCain who says the President has already "lost credibility" on ending the crisis in Syria.
Sen. McCain says he'll block U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice from becoming Secretary of State, if she's selected, because of her statements characterizing the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya as a spontaneous demonstration days after the incident.
"It was obvious to one and all that this was not a "spontaneous demonstration" because in real time they saw that there was no demonstration," said McCain. "Everybody knew that it was an al Qaeda attack and she continued to tell the world through all the talk shows that it was a "spontaneous demonstration" sparked by a video. That's not competence in my view."
Critics point out that McCain and other Republicans defended Condoleezza Rice after she made a case for invading Iraq based on false intelligence about weapons of mass destruction when she was National Security Adviser. Anderson asked the senator if there's a double standard. "I think these are two entirely different cases," said McCain.
Editor's note: Anderson Cooper interviews Sen. John McCain about why he is calling for an investigation into the deadly attacks in Benghazi, Libya. Watch AC360° at 8 and 10 p.m. ET.
At a White House news conference today, President Obama had a message for Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain: Don't go after Ambassador Susan Rice. The president was responding to their criticism of Rice's characterization of the September 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The senators also vowed to try to block her nomination as Secretary of State, if she is chosen by Obama.
Anderson talks to Sen. John McCain about his push for a coalition of nations to join together for a military strike against Syria.