“Sen. John McCain’s death heralds a sea change for congressional challenges to the Trump administration on national security, as the president’s two most vocal Republican critics pass their powerful committee gavels to two of President Trump’s biggest supporters,” writes Karoun Demirjian, who covers Congress for The Washington Post.
“McCain (R-Ariz.), who used his chairmanship of the Senate Armed Services Committee to question the president’s stance on issues such as Russia, torture, and immigration, leaves control to Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.). Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who has been a one-man Greek chorus of epithets decrying Trump’s chaotic approach to diplomacy, will hand the reins to Sen. James E. Risch (R-Idaho) at the start of the new year.
“The departure of either committee chairman would be noteworthy, as both have attracted considerable attention for criticizing the White House for foreign policies they deem flawed. But together, they portend a sweeping change in how Congress may use its oversight authority to check the president’s international agenda, according to current and former lawmakers, lobbyists and policy watchers — a changing of the guard with potentially enormous consequences for holding the president to account during crises.”
Vietnamese Pay Tribute to McCain
People in Vietnam are paying their respects to U.S. Sen. John McCain who was held as prisoner of war in Vietnam and later was instrumental in bringing the wartime foes together.
People paid tribute to McCain at the U.S Embassy in Hanoi on Monday and also at the monument built where he parachuted from his Navy Skyhawk dive bomber in October 1967 and was taken prisoner of war. He was held more than five years at the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” prison.
McCain’s Vietnamese jailer said he respected his former inmate and felt sad about his death.
Former Col. Tran Trong Duyet, who ran the prison at the time, said he met with McCain many times while he was confined there.
“At that time I liked him personally for his toughness and strong stance,” he told the newspaper Vietnam News, published by the official Vietnam News Agency.
“Later on when he became a U.S. senator, he and Sen. John Kerry greatly contributed to promote Vietnam-U.S. relations so I was very fond of him,” Vietnam News quoted Duyet as saying Sunday.
“When I learnt about his death early this morning, I feel very sad. I would like to send condolences to his family. I think it’s the same feeling for all Vietnamese people as he has greatly contributed to the development of Vietnam-U.S. relations,” Duyet was quoted as saying.
— Associated Press