Sen. John McCain: Putin the 'most important threat, more so than ISIS'

U.S. Sen. John McCain left is met by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull right and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on the floor of Parliament House in Canberra Monday

U.S. Sen. John McCain left is met by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull right and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on the floor of Parliament House in Canberra Monday

During his speech Senator McCain heaped praise on Australia, saying it "always had a special place in my heart" given the time his father, a United States submarine captain, had spent here during WWII, and the "R&R" he had enjoyed in Sydney while he was in the Navy before entering politics.

McCain took a further swipe at Russian Federation for "dismembering Ukraine, a sovereign nation" who is putting pressure on the Baltic States, the New York Post reported.

Amid a series of White House controversies involving the Russian Federation investigation, President Trump has insisted "there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity". So, way to go Vladimir.

Senator McCain made the comments last night when delivering a guest lecture in Sydney, at the US Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, before an audience of 500 guests including former Australian Prime Ministers Bob Hawke and John Howard.

Over the weekend the furore pierced the innermost circle of the White House with reports that Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner sought a secret communications link to Russian Federation - an allegation the president called "fabricated".

"I know that some administration officials are saying, 'Well, that's standard procedure, '" he elaborated. "Yes, it bothers me", he said.

McCain added: "This is becoming more and more freaky. In fact, you can't make it up".

Asked why security in the middle east seemed to get worse, not better, after U.S. intervention, Mr McCain was scathing of former president Barack Obama's approach.

SNP would back 'progressive alliance' in event of hung parliament
She is a prime minister who has seemed to flawless the art of the U-turn". Ms Sturgeon said: "Tomorrow there will be 10 days to polling day.

"I do believe that most of the time he accepts their advice and counsel".

"So I would urge you to keep at it and hopefully, someday in the future, under different circumstances, America will decide to join you". Does it bother me?

But McCain's address on Tuesday suggested that the gulf between them - and the civil war going on inside the Republican Party - is greater than political discord or disagreement over strategy.

He said the U.S. needed to respond to Russian Federation with sanctions. "We haven't responded at all", he said.

"When America abandons its leadership then bad things happen and that vacuum is filled with evil influences".

"When Barack Obama said that they had crossed the red line with the use of chemical weapons and then didn't do anything about it, America lost credibility".

The two leaders met for the first time in person in May in New York City, where they said they have a strong relationship.

He's also concerned that North Korean "behavior" is reaching a "Cuban missile crisis" level.

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