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McCain: Egypt Descending Into Chaos Due To ‘Lack Of American Leadership’

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — Arizona Sen. John McCain believes the lack of leadership from the Obama administration helped to play a part in Egypt descending into chaos one year after holding democratically held elections.

Speaking to CBS News, McCain said that the United States should not be supporting this coup that shoved President Mohammed Morsi out of power.

“It’s a strong indicator of the lack of American leadership and influence since we urged the military not to do that,” McCain said. “Reluctantly, I believe that we have to suspend aid until such time as there is a new constitution and a free and fair election.”

McCain called Morsi a “terrible president” and said the country’s economy is in shambles thanks to the overthrown president’s policies.

McCain hopes that putting pressure on suspending the more than the $1 billion in aid the U.S. gives to Egypt will cause the Egyptian military to pursue a quick transition to a civilian government.

“The place is descending into chaos but so is the entire Middle East because of a total vacuum and lack of American leadership,” McCain told “Face the Nation.”

McCain said President Barack Obama and his administration have just been bystanders when it comes to dealing with the Mideast.

“Egypt is just one segment of a failure of American leadership over the last five years and we need to start being leaders rather than bystanders,” McCain said.

The Egyptian military toppled Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood government last week after tens of thousands took to the streets to protest Morsi’s regime.

Violence has escalated in Egypt over the past week between anti-Morsi protesters, Islamists and the country’s military. On Monday, at least 40 people were killed after Islamist supporters clashed with military and police outside the Republican Guard building in Cairo. It was the single biggest death toll in protests since Morsi was overthrown last week.

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(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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