29/01/2015 15:20 GMT | Updated 29/01/2015 15:59 GMT

John McCain Barks 'Low-Life Scum' At Protesters Demanding Arrest Of Henry Kissinger

NEW YORK -- Republican Senator John McCain unleashed a tirade against a group of anti-war protesters during an Armed Services Committee hearing on Thursday. The former Republican presidential nominee reacted to a demonstration by the pacifist group CodePink by squealing "get out of here, you low-life scum".

The protesters held aloft banners when Henry Kissinger entered the chamber, demanding the former secretary of state be arrested for war crimes. McCain, who was chairing the hearing, watched the protesters as they waved handcuffs in Kissinger’s face, demanding he be indicted.

Protesters shout 'Arrest Henry Kissinger for war crimes' as Former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger; former US Secretary of State George Shultz and and former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright wait to testify on January 29, 2015 in Washington, DC

As they were being dragged out by security, McCain, 78, said: “I've been a member of this committee for many years, and I've never seen anything as disgraceful and outrageous and despicable as the last demonstration.” He then barked at them, calling them "low-life scum".

Critics accuse Kissinger, 91, of committing war crimes for his role in the Vietnam War and the bombing of Cambodia during the his time in the Nixon administration. After the fracas, McCain paid tribute to Kissinger, calling him a man that “served his country with the greatest distinction”.