|Sen. John McCain|
Reporters were so surprised, they asked him twice.
From the AP:
Republican Sen. John McCain said Thursday that President Barack Obama is "directly responsible" for the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, because of the rise of the Islamic State group on the president's watch. But he later issued a statement saying that he "misspoke."
"Barack Obama is directly responsible for it, because when he pulled everybody out of Iraq, al-Qaida went to Syria, became ISIS, and ISIS is what it is today thanks to Barack Obama's failures, utter failures, by pulling everybody out of Iraq," a visibly angry McCain said as the Senate debated a spending bill.
Questioned on his startling assertion, McCain initially repeated it: "Directly responsible. Because he pulled everybody out of Iraq, and I predicted at the time that ISIS would go unchecked and there would be attacks on the United States of America. It's a matter of record, so he is directly responsible."
And then, he started walking it back:
To clarify, I was referring to Pres Obama’s national security decisions that have led to rise of #ISIL, not to the President himself— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) June 16, 2016
I misspoke. I did not mean to imply that the President was personally responsible - my full stmt: https://t.co/IhDSefwIzM— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) June 16, 2016
It's worth noting that when our troops left, McCain had something positive to say:
Last American combat troops leave Iraq. I think President George W. Bush deserves some credit for victory.— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) August 19, 2010