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Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said Tuesday that he’s at a loss to explain why President Donald Trump praises some of the worst dictators around the world.
In an interview with MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Mccain said he found Trump's remarks "very disturbing" and cautioned that the president's comments will be troubling to U.S. allies.
“I don’t understand it,” McCain said. “I don’t think that the president appreciates the fact that when he says things like that it helps the credibility and the prestige of this really outrageous strongman,” referring to the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
McCain added: "You can’t praise that kind of behavior and not raise concerns around the world."
Trump stunned politicians and pundits when he complimented Kim in an interview with CBS that aired Sunday.
“At a very young age, he was able to assume power,” Trump said. “A lot of people, I’m sure, tried to take that power away, whether it was his uncle or anybody else. And he was able to do it. So obviously, he’s a pretty smart cookie.”
In an interview with Bloomberg News, Trump said he “would be honored” to meet North Korea’s brutal dictator under the right circumstances.
The comments came on the heels of the president extending a personal invitation to controversial Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte after a “very friendly” phone call, according to a White House Statement.
Since assuming office, Duterte has lead a crusade against illegal drugs that has claimed nearly 7,000 lives, largely at the hands of the police, according to Human Rights Watch.
"It's disturbing because we are proud Republicans and we stand for human rights," McCain said. "The statements, and the comments, obviously fly in the face of everything that I’ve stood for and believed in all my life."
McCain did point to the airstrikes on Syria and the president’s commitment to rebuilding the military as examples of the administration performing well and stressed that he believed Trump will continue to grow in the presidency.