Senator John McCain thinks Russian President Vladmir Putin did him a solid by placing him on a list of sanctioned U.S. lawmakers, explaining that “politically, frankly, it’s a bonus for me.”
The Arizona Republican made the remarks during a discussion with Fox News’ Neil Cavuto on the new sanctions imposed by Putin on a group of American lawmakers — payback for American sanctions that targeted Russian politicians complicit in the takeover of the Crimea region of Ukraine.
McCain laughingly noted that the penalties, which include a ban on traveling to or investing in Russia, are likely to backfire. “It shows how much Vladimir Putin is ignorant of American public opinion,” he said. “Let’s be honest, Neil, it helps me. It helps me to be censored by Vladimir Putin.”
“So by putting my name on that list, it’s — politically, frankly, it’s a bonus for me,” he continued. “So this guy really does not understand the nature of the United States, our political system. And frankly he is, in my view, an old colonel, KGB apparatchik that is bent on the restoration of the Russian empire.”
The senator declared he “would’ve been disappointed, to be honest,” if he hadn’t made Putin’s target list.
McCain also took a shot at the Obama administration’s sanctions against Russia. “I think [Putin] is gauging our reaction to what he has done — invading a country — and is going to take steps as he calibrates what the penalty is,” he said. “And so far, it’s been so weak that it’s been frankly embarrassing to me.”
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