McCain emerged from the roughly one-hour meeting saying that Congress voting against a strike would “undermine the credibility of the president of the United States and America. … But we have a long way to go.”
He also echoed the Capitol Hill focus that has emerged since Obama said Saturday that he would strike Syria -- making sure the effort is clearly intended to oust Assad and helping the rebels.
“What we want to do is degrade Assad’s capabilities and upgrade that of the rebel forces,” McCain said.
At least three U.S. ships are already in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, from where the U.S. is expected to launch a missile strike.
The Pentagon said Monday that the Nimitz group, which includes four destroyers, will remain in the southern Red Sea and called the decision “a prudent movement of forces should the capabilities of the strike group be needed."
McCain was joined at the White House by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a fellow Republican and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Graham emerged from the meeting with similar remarks, adding that he is seeing signs that the White House is moving toward a more clearly defined mission...