Sen. John McCain Going ‘Maverick’ On President Trump, Challenges His Executive Orders

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U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., reacts as a lightning hit a nearby building while answering to questions from students of the Japan-America Student Conference (JASC) at the Tokyo American Center in Tokyo, Japan, Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013. McCain on Wednesday called on US officials to use their influence over Egypt, as members of Congress remain spilt over whether to cut off military aid to the country. (AP Photo/Franck Robichon, Pool)

Sen. John McCain, one known as the ‘independent-minded’, is now speculated to be the Republican lawmaker most willing to defy the new Republican President.

McCain has challenged the new Trump ban on immigration from a set of Muslim-majority countries, calling it a recruiting boon for Islamic State radicals. He even threatened to codify Russian economic sanctions into law to prevent Trump from lifting them.

According to him, the President’s decision to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership was “a serious mistake”, and Trump’s idea of imposing a 20% tariff on imports from Mexico to pay for a border wall was “insane.”

The senator also stated that may oppose the Trump nominee for budget director because of his past opposition to military spending and troop deployments in Afghanistan.

“The main thing is, do the right thing,” Mr. McCain said in an interview. “I feel, frankly, a greater burden of responsibility. The world’s on fire, we have more challenges than any time in the last 70 years and, with the chairmanship of the Armed Services Committee and whatever influence I have, I need to exercise it because the responsibilities are so great.”

However, McCain said he is willing to work with Mr. Trump: “I believe there are areas where we certainly can.”

He even mentioned he has good relations with key Trump security nominees: Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and national security adviser Michael Kelly. He also noted that he has traveled abroad on congressional delegations with Vice President Mike Pence, reports The Wall Street Journal.

It seems that McCain’s deepest disagreement with the new President is over his desire to strengthen ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin. After all, he was among the loud-mouthed politicians who claimed Russian hackers brought Trump his victory.

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