John McCain has staked his claim as antagonist-in-chief for the Trump administration in the first 30 days of the presidency with routine criticism of the White House on numerous policies.
And now he’s upping the ante with clandestine travel to a war zone on a diplomatic mission coordinated by the military and without executive sanction.
This is an unprecedented, quite foreboding move.
Here’s more from Fox News…
Sen. John McCain made a secret trip to northern Syria to visit U.S. military officials and Kurdish fighters and to discuss the campaign for defeating the Islamic State, his office said Wednesday.
McCain, R-Ariz., made the visit to the war-torn country as U.S.-coalition forces prepare for a major battled to oust militants from ISIS’ de facto capital of Raqqa. A statement from the senator’s office did not give the dates of his travel, saying only that he made the visit last week.
“Senator McCain’s visit was a valuable opportunity to assess dynamic conditions on the ground in Syria and Iraq,” the statement reads. It says the president “has rightly ordered a review of U.S. strategy and plans to defeat” the Islamic State group and McCain looks forward to working with the administration and military leaders “to optimize our approach.”
Officials told The Wall Street Journal that the visit was arranged with help from the U.S. military. It comes as the Trump administration debates plans for an increased military campaign against ISIS. President Trump had previously asked the U.S. military to present him with a new plan to destroy ISIS. The report is supposed to be finished by the end of the month.
U.S. officials familiar with the visit told the Journal that McCain traveled to Kobani, which sits along the Syria-Turkey border and has been controlled by Kurdish forces since 2012.
McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and one of Trump’s biggest critics, recently declared Trump’s administration was in disarray and expressed concern over how national security decisions were being handled.
During a speech Friday at the Munich Security Conference, McCain delivered a withering critique of Trump’s worldview as he lamented a shift in the U.S. and Europe away from the “universal values” that forged the Western alliance 70 years ago.