Trump-Putin summit a low point in presidential history: John McCain

Senator John McCain looks on at a press conference about the National Defense Authorization Act in Washington, US, on Oct 25, 2017.
Senator John McCain looks on at a press conference about the National Defense Authorization Act in Washington, US, on Oct 25, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Senior Republican Senator John McCain called President Donald Trump's joint press conference Monday (July 16) with Russian leader Vladimir Putin "disgraceful" and a "low point" for the US presidency.

In some of the harshest criticism yet from members of Trump's party, the veteran lawmaker - a strong critic of the president - called the Helsinki summit a "tragic mistake" in which Trump was "not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin".

"Coming close on the heels of President Trump's bombastic and erratic conduct towards our closest friends and allies in Brussels and Britain, today's press conference marks a recent low point in the history of the American Presidency," McCain said in a statement.

"No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant."