John McCain lashed out angrily Thursday at a group of protesters who interrupted the start of a Senate hearing featuring Henry Kissinger by calling for the former secretary of state to be tried for war crimes.
“Get out of here, you low-life scum,” the Arizona Republican and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee barked, before the protesters were ushered out of the hearing room by U.S. Capitol Police.
“I’ve been a member of this committee for many years, and I have never seen anything as disgraceful and outrageous and despicable as the last demonstration that just took place,” Mr. McCain said.
The incident subsided within minutes, but the theatrics threatened to overshadow testimony from Mr. Kissinger, who appeared Thursday to testify alongside former Secretaries of State George Shultz and Madeleine Albright.
All three were slated to give their big-picture views on the current state of threats facing the United States along with how Washington’s overall national security policy should be evolving.
Mr. Kissinger, who served under President Richard Nixon, has long been a controversial figure in Washington, and Thursday’s protesters could be heard blaming him for a secret U.S. bombing campaign that occurred inside Cambodian territory during the Vietnam War.
“I’d like to apologize for allowing such disgraceful behavior toward a man who served his country with the greatest distinction,” Mr. McCain told the former secretary of state after the protesters had been removed from the hearing room Thursday.
“I apologize profusely,” he said.
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