Sen. John McCain on Sunday said he was “almost speechless” over comments that President Donald Trump reportedly made to Russian officials describing fired FBI Director James Comey as “a real nutjob.”
In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” the Arizona Republican also blasted the Trump administration for hosting a meeting with Russia foreign minister Servey Lavrov in the White House, describing him as “nothing but a propagandist” who “had no business in the Oval Office.”
The New York Times reported Friday that Trump told Russian officials in the meeting earlier this month that Comey was “crazy, a real nutjob” and that “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”
“I don’t know how to read it except that, I’m almost speechless,” McCain said Sunday. “I don’t know why someone would say something like that.”
Asked if Trump’s firing of Comey was an effort to impede the bureau’s Russia investigation, McCain said he didn’t know.
“I don’t think it was a wise thing to do,” he said. “Mr. Comey was highly respected and highly regarded and so I can’t explain it.”
McCain elaborated on comments he made earlier this week, in which he said the controversies around the White House were approaching “Watergate size and scale.”
McCain told host Chris Wallace that, with the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special prosecutor overseeing the Russia probe, “we’re now at that stage of a scandal, and now the question is, how is it handled?”
“Is it handled the way Watergate was, where drip, drip, drip, every day more and more more, or do we handle it like Ronald Reagan handled Iran-Contra?” McCain said. “It’s a scandal, he fired people, he went on national television and said we made mistakes, we did wrong and we’re not going to do it again, and the American people let him move forward.”
McCain took aim at leaks that have helped fuel the Trump administration’s scandals, saying that it was “outrageous” and a “betrayal” by the officials involved.
“It’s a violation of the law to leak classified information, and, therefore, they should be held accountable,” he said.