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McCain campaigning with former Governor Romney in Mesa, Arizona during his 2016 re-election campaign

During the 2016 Republican primaries, McCain said he would support the Republican nominee even if it was Donald Trump, but following Mitt Romney's 2016 anti-Trump speech, McCain endorsed the sentiments expressed in that speech, saying he had serious concerns about Trump's "uninformed and indeed dangerous statements on national security issues".[339] Relations between the two had been fraught since early in Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, when McCain referred to a room full of Trump supporters as "crazies", and the real estate mogul then said of McCain: "He insulted me, and he insulted everyone in that room ... He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured ... perhaps he was a war hero, but right now he's said a lot of very bad things about a lot of people."[339][340] McCain also vocally opposed a federal loan guarantee for a development project Trump was contemplating on the West Side of Manhattan in 1996.[341] Following Trump becoming the presumptive nominee of the party on May 3, McCain said that Republican voters had sp

During the 2016 Republican primaries, McCain said he would support the Republican nominee even if it was Donald Trump, but following Mitt Romney's 2016 anti-Trump speech, McCain endorsed the sentiments expressed in that speech, saying he had serious concerns about Trump's "uninformed and indeed dangerous statements on national security issues".[339] Relations between the two had been fraught since early in Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, when McCain referred to a room full of Trump supporters as "crazies", and the real estate mogul then said of McCain: "He insulted me, and he insulted everyone in that room ... He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured ... perhaps he was a war hero, but right now he's said a lot of very bad things about a lot of people."[339][340] McCain also vocally opposed a federal loan guarantee for a development project Trump was contemplating on the West Side of Manhattan in 1996.[341] Following Trump becoming the presumptive nominee of the party on May 3, McCain said that Republican voters had spoken and he would support Trump.[342]

McCain himself faced a primary challenge from Kelli Ward, a fervent Trump supporter, and then was expected to face a potentially strong challenge from Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick in the general election.[343] The senator privately expressed worry over the effect that Trump's unpopularity among Hispanic voters might have on his own chances but also was concerned with more conservative pro-Trump voters; he thus kept his endorsement of Trump in place but tried to speak of him as little as possible given their disagreements.[344][345][346] However McCain defeated Ward

McCain himself faced a primary challenge from Kelli Ward, a fervent Trump supporter, and then was expected to face a potentially strong challenge from Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick in the general election.[343] The senator privately expressed worry over the effect that Trump's unpopularity among Hispanic voters might have on his own chances but also was concerned with more conservative pro-Trump voters; he thus kept his endorsement of Trump in place but tried to speak of him as little as possible given their disagreements.[344][345][346] However McCain defeated Ward in the primary by a double-digit percentage point margin and gained a similar lead over Kirkpatrick in general election polls, and when the Donald Trump Access Hollywood controversy broke, he felt secure enough to on October 8 withdraw his endorsement of Trump.[343] McCain stated that Trump's "demeaning comments about women and his boasts about sexual assaults" made it "impossible to continue to offer even conditional support" and added that he would not vote for Hillary Clinton, but would instead "write in the name of some good conservative Republican who is qualified to be president."[347][348] McCain, at 80 years of age, went on to defeat Kirkpatrick, securing a sixth term as United States Senator from Arizona.[349]

In November 2016, McCain learned of the existence of a dossier regarding the Trump presidential campaign's links to Russia compiled by Christopher Steele. McCain sent a representative to gather more information, who obtained a copy of the dossier.[350] In December 2016, McCain passed on the dossier to FBI Director James Comey in a 1-on-1 meeting. McCain later wrote that he felt the dossier's "allegations were disturbing" but unverifiable by himself, so he let the FBI investigate.[351]

On December 31, 2016, in Tbilisi, Georgia, McCain stated that the United States should strengthen its sanctions against Russia.[352] One year later, on December 23, 2017, the State Department announced that the United States would provide Ukraine with "enhanced defensive capabilities".[353]