Arizona senior senator says reputation of US suffered during early months of Trump administration as scandals hit White House

Donald Trumps administration is mired in scandal, senior Republican senator John McCain has said, but he exhorted Americas allies to stand by the nation as it navigates troubled times.

In a speech in Sydney, Australia, McCain said the US remained the most important country on Earth, and the global defender of truth over falsehood.

McCain also used the speech to launch a swingeing attack on China, accusing the emerging superpower of bullying other countries, stealing intellectual property and inducing illegal territory asserts in the South China Sea.

McCain, the decorated war veteran, senior senator from Arizona and former Republican presidential candidate, told many of Americas friends were fairly questioning the direction and reliability of Trumps administration.

My friends, I know that many of you will have a lot of questions about where America is headed under President Trump. Frankly, so do many Americans. What I would say is that the new administration is just that new. It is still determining its feet.

McCain conceded Americas reputation had suffered in the early months of Trumps presidency as scandals over ties to Russia, alleged obstruction of an FBI investigation, nepotism and foundering the relationship with other world leaders rocked the administration with crippling regularity.

We gone through a rough period, McCain said. We truly are, and for me to tell you that we arent, politically, is not fair. But weve gone through other distressed days. I can recollect the Watergate scandal and how it brought down a president. Im not suggesting thats going to happen to this president, but we are in a scandal and every few days another shoe falls from this centipede, and weve got to get through that.

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