Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) called out the White House over its statements in recent days on the advance of ISIS in Iraq and in Syria

First, it was Press Secretary Josh Earnest downplaying the fall of Ramadi, a key city in western Iraq, to the terror army. 

He argued that people should not overreact and that the overall U.S. strategy was working. 

“Are we gonna light our hair on fire every time that there is a setback in the campaign against ISIL?” he asked at a news conference. 

McCain labeled Earnest an "idiot" for those remarks, though he immediately retracted the statement in an interview with Bill Hemmer this morning. 

"I'll retract that. It's infuriating though to hear someone say [that]. That betrays everything that America believes in and stands for," said McCain, adding that ISIS is slaughtering innocent people as it advances.

In a new statement to The Atlantic, President Obama denied that the United States is "losing" the battle against ISIS.

"No, I don’t think we’re losing. ... There’s no doubt there was a tactical setback, although Ramadi had been vulnerable for a very long time, primarily because these are not Iraqi security forces that we have trained or reinforced. … [T]he training of Iraqi security forces, the fortifications, the command-and-control systems are not happening fast enough in Anbar, in the Sunni parts of the country," Obama said.

McCain said the president's statement is contradicted by the map of the Middle East, which shows ISIS controlling large areas in Iraq and Syria.


McCain questioned the Obama administration's commitment to stopping evil. 

"Where is our compassion? Where is our sorrow? Where is our commitment to combating this evil called ISIS? There is no negotiating with them. Where is our dedication to saying we will stop this evil and we will do what's necessary?" he asked, adding that "massive" numbers of U.S. ground troops are not necessary to defeat ISIS.

He said 75 percent of U.S. fighter planes in the region are returning from combat missions with their bomb loads still intact.

"Why is that? Because we don't have forward air controllers on the ground to identify targets that need to be taken out," he said. 

Watch the full interview above.