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(CNN) Sen. John McCain -- who once called former President Barack Obama's foreign policy "feckless" -- insisted that his 2008 presidential rival still provided more American global leadership than the current president.
The Arizona Republican was asked in an interview published Sunday if America's standing on the global stage was better under Obama than President Donald Trump.
"As far as American leadership is concerned, yes," McCain told the Guardian.
McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, appeared irritated when asked about Trump's message to the United Kingdom. Trump drew condemnation across the British political spectrum after attacking London Mayor Sadiq Khan on Twitter in the wake of the London Bridge terrorist attack. Khan and other British politicians called on the British government to cancel Trump's visit.
"What do you think the message is? The message is that America doesn't want to lead," he replied.
The world is "not sure of American leadership, whether it be in Siberia or whether it be in Antarctica," McCain added.
British Prime Minister Theresa May extended an invitation to Trump to visit the United Kingdom on behalf of the Queen just a week after his inauguration, a move that was heavily criticized in the UK.
But no official date has been set and the White House denied a recent report that Trump was planning to delay his state visit over fears of potential protests and his perceived unpopularity.