Speaking to reporters on Thursday, the senator made some puzzling remarks regarding the Orlando terror attack, claiming that “Barack Obama is directly responsible for it.”
Lest anyone think McCain had bought into Donald Trump’s conspiracy theory, his office quickly released a clarifying statement. He never meant to imply that the president is “personally” responsible, only his “national security decisions,” including Obama’s failure to stop the rise of ISIS.
Still, McCain is missing the point, whatever way you spin it. There’s no evidence that Omar Mateen was an actual member of ISIS, or that ISIS had any involvement in the attack. So far, what happened in Orlando appears to be domestic terror. In putting the blame on foreign enemies—rather than focusing on issues of gun control and our treatment of LGBTQ people of color—McCain is using the tragedy to ride his well-worn hobbyhorse.