Republican Sen. John McCain says President Barack Obama is "directly responsible" for the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, because Obama has allowed the growth of the Islamic State group on his watch.

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Senate Majority Whip Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), and Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) participate in a news briefing after the weekly Senate Republican Policy Committee luncheon May 24, 2016. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

McCain -- who lost to Obama in the 2008 presidential election -- made the comment to reporters Thursday while Obama was in Orlando visiting with the families of those killed in Sunday's attack and some of the survivors.

In the aftermath of the shooting, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has accused Obama of putting U.S. enemies ahead of American's own people. Trump also has suggested that Obama himself might sympathize with radical elements.

Democrats criticized Trump and some Republicans tried to distance themselves.

McCain is seeking a sixth term in the Senate from Arizona.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

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