Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., joined in the disapproval Monday of Google executive Eric Schmidt, who has drawn criticism for a trip he’s making this week to North Korea, home to one of the world’s most repressive regimes. To describe Schmidt and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who is leading the delegation, McCain borrowed a term from former Communist leader Vladimir Lenin:
Richardson and Schmidt arrive in North Korea today – Lenin used to call them “useful idiots”
— John McCain (@SenJohnMcCain) January 7, 2013
A request for comment from McCain’s office was not immediately returned.
The group arrived in North Korea today where they plan on meeting with political, economic, military and educational leaders, but officials in Washington have expressed concern over Richardson and Schmidt’s trip to North Korea, which conducted a successful rocket launch the United States described as a “provocative act” last month.
“We don’t think the timing of the visit is helpful, and they are well aware of our views,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters last week, according to the Associated Press.
The Associated Press reports Schmidt is expected to make a donation while in North Korea this week while Richardson is looking into the status of a U.S. citizen currently detained in Pyongyang.