John McCain decries ‘smear tactic’ criticism of Trump adviser McMaster
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John McCain decries ‘smear tactic’ criticism of Trump adviser McMaster

Republican senator says accusations that national security adviser is insufficiently supportive of Israel ‘are disgraceful’

US Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Senator John McCain speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, September 15, 2016. (AP/Susan Walsh, File)
US Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Senator John McCain speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington, September 15, 2016. (AP/Susan Walsh, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A senior Republican senator condemned criticism of US President Donald Trump’s national security adviser as “smear tactics” leveled by the same people who he said sparked the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

In a statement Monday, Senator John McCain of Arizona said the personal attacks against Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster carried out by “the so-called ‘alt-right’ are disgraceful.”

Conservative groups and a website formerly run by Trump adviser Steve Bannon have targeted McMaster as insufficiently supportive of Israel and insufficiently tough toward Iran.

McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, called the alt-right a “fringe movement” that has resorted “to impugning the character of a good man and outstanding soldier who has served honorably in uniform and sacrificed more for our country than any of his detractors ever have.”

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman meets with US National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster on May 22, 2017. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry/Flash90)
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman meets with US National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster on May 22, 2017. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry/Flash90)
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