WASHINGTON — Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain denied Monday that he said U.S. leadership under President Donald Trump is worse than when Barack Obama was in office.
“I never said such a thing. A thousand times I said, ‘Look at the world in 2009 and look at it today.’ Of course, I never said [that]. If I did I was joking,” McCain told The Daily Caller.
The Guardian published an interview with McCain Sunday that quoted him as saying American leadership under Obama was better than it is now under Trump. The statement was in response to when he was asked about President Trump’s criticism of London Mayor Sadique Khan.
The Guardian described McCain as “visibly irked” when asked about the message Trump gave to Britain.
“Pathetic excuse by London Mayor Sadiq Khan who had to think fast on his ‘no reason to be alarmed’ statement,” Trump tweeted last Monday.
“What do you think the message is? The message is that America doesn’t want to lead,” McCain said. He went on to say the rest of the world: “They are not sure of American leadership, whether it be in Siberia or whether it be in Antarctica.”
When the Guardian asked if the U.S.’s international standing was better under Barack Obama, McCain, a responded: “As far as American leadership is concerned, yes.”