On Thursday, Sen. John McCain revealed he is functioning on heavy Republican autopilot when he said that Barack Obama is “directly responsible” for the historic mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, which left 49 dead.

“Barack Obama is directly responsible for it, because when he pulled everybody out of Iraq, al-Qaeda went to Syria, became ISIS, and ISIS is what it is today thanks to Barack Obama’s failures,” he said to reporters in a Senate hallway.

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“He pulled everybody out of Iraq,” he insisted after some pushback. “I predicted at the time that ISIS would go unchecked, and there would be attacks on the United States of America. It’s a matter of record, so he is directly responsible.”

He later tweeted:

Okay, dude.

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Update (5:20 p.m.): Sen. McCain, who has undoubtedly been backtracking since he said explicitly, two times in a row, even after pushback that Obama was “directly responsible” for the Orlando shooting, has released an official statement. Or statemeny.

“I misspoke. I did not mean to imply that the President was personally responsible,” the statemeny reads. “I was referring to President Obama’s national security decisions, not the President himself. As I have said, President Obama’s decision to completely withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011 led to the rise of ISIL. I and others have long warned that the failure of the President’s policy to deny ISIL safe haven would allow the terrorist organization to inspire, plan, direct or conduct attacks on the United States and Europe as they have done in Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino and now Orlando.”


Image via Getty.