WASHINGTON (AP) -- A senior Republican senator is condemning criticism of President Donald Trump's national security adviser as "smear tactics" leveled by the same people who he says sparked the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
In a statement Monday, Sen. John McCain of Arizona says the personal attacks against Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster carried out by "the so-called 'alt-right' are disgraceful."
Conservative groups and a website formerly run by Trump adviser Steve Bannon have targeted McMaster as insufficiently supportive of Israel and insufficiently tough toward Iran.
McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, calls the alt-right a "fringe movement" that has resorted "to impugning the character of a good man and outstanding soldier who has served honorably in uniform and sacrificed more for our country than any of his detractors ever have."