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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain said on Monday he backed President-elect Donald Trump’s criticism of the costs of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jet program, but said a president does not have the authority to cancel it because funds have already been appropriated.

In an interview with Reuters, McCain, a leading Republican voice on national security and outspoken critic of Pentagon cost overruns, said, however, that Trump would have the power to reduce future purchases of the new-generation fighters if he decides to do so.

“He can reduce the buy over time, next year, as we look at it again,” McCain said. “But right now, the acquisition … of lots of them is already taking place, and I’m happy to say at fixed-price contract. The president, I’m sure, can examine it.”

(Reporting By Matt Spetalnick and Jonathan Landay; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

IMAGE: U.S. Senator John McCain speaks to reporters in Kabul, Afghanistan July 4, 2016. REUTERS/Josh SmithU.S. Senator John McCain speaks to reporters in Kabul, Afghanistan July 4, 2016. REUTERS/Josh Smith

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President Joe Biden

Photo by The White House

Two tiresome realities about being president of the United States: first, everybody blames you for things over which you have little or no control: such as the worldwide price of oil, and international shipping schedules. Should there be too few electronic gee-gaws on store shelves to pacify American teenagers this Christmas, it will be Joe Biden’s fault.

Second, everybody gives you advice, whether you ask for it or not. Everywhere you look, Democrats and Democratically-inclined pundits are tempted to panic. “The cold reality for Biden,” writes New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait “is that his presidency is on the brink of failure.” A return to Trumpism, and essentially the end of American democracy, strikes Chait as altogether likely.

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