By John Bowden - 08-08-17 18:03 PM EDT
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) took exception to President Trump's remarks Tuesday that further provocation by North Korea will be met "with fire and fury like the world has never seen."
McCain argued the tough rhetoric is unlikely to help as tensions rise between the United States and North Korea over the latter's nuclear program.
"I don't know what he's saying and I've long ago given up trying to interpret what he says," McCain said of Trump during an interview with a local Arizona radio station first reported by NBC.
"That kind of rhetoric, I'm not sure how it helps."
McCain said the U.S. risks getting into a serious confrontation with North Korea, and invoked former President Teddy Roosevelt's famous "big stick" policy.
"In other words, the old walk softly but carry a big stick, Teddy Roosevelt's saying, which I think is something that should've applied because all it's going to do is bring us closer to a serious confrontation," McCain warned. "I think this is very, very, very serious."
NEW: Sen. McCain reacts to Trump's North Korea threat on local Arizona radio: pic.twitter.com/CGvYGPsHLr- Marianna Sotomayor (@MariannaNBCNews) August 8, 2017
Trump warned North Korea not to make any threats to the United States on Tuesday after The Washington Post reported that North Korea has produced a nuclear warhead small enough to place on a missile.
"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States," Trump told reporters Tuesday.
"He has been very threatening beyond a normal state, and as I said they will be met with fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before."
McCain said he "takes exception" to Trump's remarks.
"I take exception to the president's words because you got to be sure you can do what you say you're going to do," said McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.