McCain said, “I say that with great reluctance, but the United States of America I think must learn the lessons of history and that is: We cannot stand by without acting in cases where freely elected governments are unseated by the military arm of those nations.”

He said he believed U.S. aid had to be suspended, and called on the Egyptian military to set a timetable for elections and a new constitution.

“Then we should evaluate whether to continue the aid or not,” he said. “I am aware that by suspending aid to the Egyptian military, which is the only stable institution in Egypt, we are risking further problems in the Sinai, and in other areas of cooperation with the Egyptian military.”