Senator John McCain blasted Barack Obama on Thursday saying the US president is ‘directly responsible’ for the massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando. The senator said: ‘Barack Obama is directly responsible for it, because when he pulled everybody out of Iraq, al-Qaeda 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,’ McCain – visibly angry – told reporters as Obama was in Orlando visiting with survivors and families of the dead. Questioned about his comments just after making them McCain initially doubled down: ‘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.’
But McCain decided to clarify his remarks almost immediately, saying that he was misspoken. ‘I did not mean to imply that the president was personally responsible. I was referring to President Obama’s national security decisions, not the president himself,’ McCain said in a statement.