Ailing McCain roils Washington
John McCain is 2,200 miles from Washington and hasn’t been on Capitol Hill in five months, but he showed this week that he remains a potent force in national politics and a polarizing figure within the Republican Party.
From his home in Sedona, Ariz., where he is receiving treatment for an aggressive and typically fatal type of brain cancer, McCain has challenged and praised the Trump administration’s actions on national security — his voice limited to news releases and Twitter.
But his declaration Wednesday in opposition to Gina Haspel, President Trump’s nominee for CIA director, has uniquely roiled the political scene. The denunciation has prompted reactions from fellow senators and a former vice president, as well as intemperate remarks from some Republicans aligned with Trump, including a White House aide.
And while McCain is not expected to cast a vote, his opposition to Haspel — based on her record overseeing controversial CIA interrogations of suspected terrorists — has injected uncertainty into her confirmation.