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John McCain saw Trump and his America First ideology as a departure from the values and traditions of global leadership

McCain questioned why Trump was solicitous of Vladimir Putin, whom he regarded as an unreformed KGB apparatchik. In one of his final public acts, he blasted Trump’s cozy summit with the Russian President in July, blasting it as “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.” “The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate. But it is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake,” he said in a statement.