Down but not out: McCain sends out blistering statement accusing the Trump administration of 'playing into the hands of Putin' on Syria hours after former POW reveals cancer diagnosis
- The Trump administration is ending a CIA program to arm and train rebels battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
- The covert program began under the Obama administration and was aimed at pressuring the dictator
- Senate Armed Services chairman John McCain is one of the foremost Russia critics in the Senate
- McCain issued a statement accusing the administration of playing into Russian President Putin's hands
- Making 'any concession without a strategy is 'short-sighted'
- 'There is still no new strategy for victory in Afghanistan either'
- Also tweets: 'I'll be back soon, so stand-by!'
- Trump has pushed improved ties with Russia as an overarching goal, and touted a recent cease fire over part of Syria
- Putin in 2015 ripped the program as providing 'aid to illegitimate organizations' and said it 'contravenes the principles of international law'