Senator John McCain yet again disrespects President Trump and made a secret trip to Kurdish territory in Syria last weekend, where he visited American military personnel.
“Senator McCain traveled to northern Syria last week to visit U.S. forces deployed there and to discuss the counter-ISIL campaign and ongoing operations to retake Raqqa. Senator McCain’s visit was a valuable opportunity to assess dynamic conditions on the ground in Syria and Iraq. President Trump has rightly ordered a review of the U.S. strategy and plans to defeat ISIL,” said a McCain spokeswoman quoted by The Hill.
McCain’s visit reportedly took him to the Kurdish town of Kobane, which was the focus of an intense battle between the Kurds and the Islamic State in 2014. He made a previous visit to Syria in 2013, where he met with rebel forces backed by the United States.
McCain’s trip to Syria is controversial for several reasons. As The Hill points out, just a month ago Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii announced she made a secret trip to Syria and had a secret meeting with dictator Bashar Assad, a revelation greeted with “shock and disgust” by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. The Trump administration is not likely to be pleased with so much freelance congressional diplomacy.
Senator McCain does not appear to have done anything as outrageous as Gabbard, and the statement from his office sought to portray him as helpful to the Trump administration. The White House has said little to date about McCain’s Syrian excursion. CNN cites McCain’s office saying it was an official congressional delegation trip, “meaning the US government sponsored and paid for the senator’s travel.”