Senator John McCain, a ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, says repeal of “don't ask, don't tell,” the military's ban on open gay service, is unnecessary because “it's been successful.”

The Republican senator from Arizona appeared on ABC's This Week where he told George Stephanopoulos that there was no need to alter or repeal “don't ask, don't tell.”

“I've said for months, I'll be glad to have a thorough review of the policy by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and their recommendations,” McCain answered Stephanopoulos, who had asked how, if at all, he would alter “don't ask, don't tell.” “But in all due respect, right now the military is functioning extremely well in very difficult conditions. We have to have an assessment on recruitment, on retention and all the other aspects of the impact of our military if we change the policy. In my view, and I know that a lot of people don't agree with that, the policy has been working and I think it's been working well.”

McCain's comments come on the heels of both good news and bad for backers of repeal.

This week, the Army National Guard fired Lieutenant Dan Choi for admitting he was gay on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show in March.

But Army officer Sandy Tsao, who was relieved of her duties after telling her superiors she was a lesbian, received a handwritten letter from President Obama in support of repeal.

“Thanks for the wonderful and thoughtful letter,” Obama said. “It is because of outstanding Americans like you that I committed to changing our current policy. Although it will take some time to complete (partly because it needs Congressional action) I intend to fulfill my commitment.”

National Security Advisor General James Jones, who also appeared on the program, told Stephanopoulos that he was uncertain whether the ban would be repealed.

“If the president is against the policy, why not suspend prosecutions and investigations while that review continues?” Stephanopoulos asked.

“Well, maybe that's an option that eventually we'll get to but we're not there now,” Jones answered. “We will have long discussions about this, it will be thoughtful, it will be deliberative. The president I know will reach out to fully understand all sides of the issue before he makes a decision.”

“But it will be overturned?” the host asked.

“I don't know,” Jones replied.