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John McCain: Robert Gates Should Have Waited Before Releasing Bombshell Memoir

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Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said former Defense Secretary Robert Gates probably should have waited a little longer before publishing his memoir, which is highly critical of President Obama's leadership in the war in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said former Defense Secretary Robert Gates probably should have waited a little longer before publishing his memoir, which is highly critical of President Obama's leadership in the war in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Ralph Freso)

WASHINGTON -- Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said Sunday that former Defense Secretary Robert Gates probably should have delayed the release of his memoir, since it includes tough criticisms of President Barack Obama's leadership of the war in Afghanistan, which is still winding down.

"I think, frankly, I might've -- if I had given him advice -- I would've waited," McCain said on CNN's “State of the Union." "As far as waiting until it's over in Afghanistan, I wouldn't have done that. But maybe [in] retrospect, a little longer than now."

The Arizona Republican, a key voice on defense issues and the 2008 GOP presidential nominee, said he and Gates have disagreed on occasion, but he remains "a great admirer" of the former Defense secretary. McCain said the book reveals that Gates was "obviously very frustrated" with the president's approach to the war overseas, noting that it "surprised all of us" to hear Gates come down so hard on Obama.

"He's decided to kind of really let loose," McCain said.

Gates' book is scheduled for release on Tuesday.

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