Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., delivers a dark condemnation of Vladimir Putin in an essay Thursday, declaring the Russian leader is “an evil man” who is “intent on evil deeds.”
America should not be fooled his interference in the 2016 election is a one-off, the Arizona Republican also argues in his essay for The Wall Street Journal.
“He meddled in one election, and he will do it again because it worked and because he has not been made to stop,” McCain argues. “Putin’s goal isn’t to defeat a candidate or a party. He means to defeat the West.”
McCain also laments that President Donald Trump does not appear to be more worried about the ex-KGB agent as a serious threat to the United States.
“President Trump seems to vary from refusing to believe what Putin is doing to just not caring about it,” McCain writes. “To his credit, he overturned the Obama policy and supplied lethal assistance to Ukraine. But he needs to comprehend the nature of the threat Putin poses. He needs to understand Putin’s nature, and ours.”
According to McCain, the end of the Cold war left Americans, “including me, giddy with optimism that relations might improve between the United States and Russia.
“It was just delusional to believe Putin would ever be our democratic partner,” he writes.
“Vladimir Putin is an evil man, and he is intent on evil deeds, which include the destruction of the liberal world order that the United States has led and that has brought more stability, prosperity, and freedom to humankind than has ever existed in history,” McCain asserts.
“He is exploiting the openness of our society and the increasingly acrimonious political divisions consuming us. He wants to widen those divides and paralyze us from responding to his aggression.”
In the essay, which was adapted from his new memoir, “The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights and Other Appreciations,” McCain urges America to “fight Vladimir Putin as determinedly as he fights us.”
“We will stop him when we start believing in ourselves again and when we remember that our exceptionalism hasn’t anything to do with what we are — prosperous, powerful, envied — but with who we are: a people united by ideals, not ethnicity or geography, and determined to stand by those values, not just here at home but throughout the world.”
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