McCain on Trump's Cabinet: 'I Couldn't Have Picked a Better Team'

By Susan Jones | January 23, 2017 | 6:45am EST
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) says he has "utmost confidence" in President Obama's Cabinet picks. (AP File Photo)

( - Asked for his opinion on President Trump's inaugural address and his speech one day later at CIA headquarters, Sen. John McCain said he disagreed with some of what Trump said.

"But the point to me is not what he's saying, because we keep reacting to just things he says in his tweets. What he is doing is important. And I have the utmost confidence in General Mattis (defense secretary), General Flynn (national security adviser), General Kelly (homeland security secretary), Dan Coates (director of national intelligence). I couldn't have picked a better team. And so I'm confident that he will listen to them and be guided by them.

"As far as this back-and-forth on his tweets, that's an endless rabbit hole."

Stephanopoulos told McCain, "You say you have utmost confidence in his team. Do you have utmost confidence in President Trump?"

"I do not know, George. I do not know, because he has made so many comments that are contradictory. But I think the fact that he's appointed and nominated these outstanding individuals is bound to be an encouraging sign. I trust the and believe in them and have worked with them over many years."

In response to other questions, McCain said he thinks Trump should release his tax returns; he said the U.S. should impose additional sanctions on Russia. ("We should not relax them," he said.) And McCain said the best way to investigate Russian interference in the U.S. election "is with a select committee or... a commission."

At the end of the interview, McCain brought up the women's march on Saturday in cities across the nation and the world.

"And, by the way, on this march yesterday, it's also a testimony to the power of social networking. This wasn't big on ABC News. But it was networked all over the country. And it was a pretty remarkable turnout."

"What did you think of it?" Stephanopoulos asked McCain.

"I think it was remarkable," McCain said. "And I think it's an urgent plea for us all to sit down together. The world is on fire, George. We have seen -- we're in more danger than we have been and the -- our adversaries are increasing their military capabilities, dramatically closing the gap. We need to work together, as we do on the Armed Services Committee, I'm happy to say."

McCain chairs the Armed Services Committee.

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