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McCain criticizes Trump’s Syria policy despite cancer diagnosis

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

Tom Williams | CQ Roll Call | Getty Images

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

Cancer isn’t keeping Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., from sticking to his political guns.

Just hours after news broke of McCain’s brain cancer diagnosis, the Arizona senator blasted President Trump amid a report that the administration decided to halt a CIA training program for moderate Syrian rebels fighting Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

“If these reports are true, the administration is playing right into the hands of Vladimir Putin,” McCain said in a statement Thursday. “Making any concession to Russia, absent a broader strategy for Syria, is irresponsible and short-sighted.”

More from USA Today:
Analysis: Trump’s cutoff of aid to Syrian rebels marks victory for Assad, Russia and Iran
Report: Trump plans to end CIA training program for moderate Syrian rebels
Sen. John McCain has brain tumor, doctors say

The program began under the Obama administration in 2013, and Trump decided to end it about a month ago, The Washington Post reported.

McCain also criticized Trump for not having a broader strategy in Syria and the Middle East in general. “There is still no new strategy for victory in Afghanistan either. It is now mid-July, when the administration promised to deliver that strategy to Congress, and we are still waiting,” he added.

McCain announced Wednesday night that he had been diagnosed with a brain tumor after a minor surgery to removed a blood clot above his left eye revealed the glioblastoma.

On Thursday morning, McCain vowed to return to Congress soon. “I greatly appreciate the outpouring of support,” he said in a tweet.

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