Senator John McCain has accused President Obama of being “directly responsible” for the Orlando shooting that killed 50 people on Sunday.
McCain said that the rise of ISIS during Obama’s presidency allowed gunman Omar Mateen to become radicalised and commit the massacre.
McCain, who lost to Obama in the 2008 presidential election, made the remarks on Thursday at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, while the US president was in Orlando, Florida, visiting with the families of dozens of people who lost their lives in the mass shooting on Sunday.
“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 said, using an acronym for the terrorist group.
“So the responsibility for it lies with President Barack Obama and his failed policies,” said McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Omar Mateen, armed with assault weapons, stormed the Pulse Club on Sunday, killing 49 people and injured 53 others at the gay club, marking the worst ever mass shooting in US history.
The 29-year-old suspect was an American-born US citizen born to parents of Afghan background. He was allegedly a Daesh sympathizer.
The Daesh Takfiri group, which was initially created and funded by the US and its regional allies to destabilize the Middle East region, particularly Syria, has reportedly claimed responsibility for the Orlando shooting. The group now controls large parts of Iraq and Syria.
‘I misspoke’: McCain
Later on Thursday, McCain backtracked on comments that Obama was “directly responsible” for the Orlando shooting. He issued a statement saying, “I misspoke.”
“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 an interview with Press TV, political commentator Barry Grossman said McCain’s often delusional rhetoric indicates he is in a desperate need for psychiatric treatment.
Grossman said that “McCain is clearly well into the degenerative stage of advanced posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and should be in a hospital where he can receive palliative care rather than being put to work as a two-bit player in a burlesque like psyop which, using Weapons of Mass Deception, aims to manufacture consent for yet another regional war in the Middle East.”