John McCain is all about picking a lucrative fight with Russia unless it focuses unwanted attention on him. Then any type of investigation is a distraction away from the “serious business” of the Senate.
A McCain spokeswoman issued a statement late Thursday in response to a letter from Senator Chuck Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Grassley’s letter had been sent to FBI Director Christopher Wray regarding possible efforts by Russians to infiltrate the Trump campaign.
Usually any Senate probe into anything Russia is warmly received by McCain, but that isn’t the case when it involves Songbird personally. Then it’s inappropriate in the Senator’s view.
Reciting one of his most worn-out lines, McCain spokeswoman Julie Tarallo said, “Facts are stubborn things, and the fact is no member of Congress has done more to push back on Russian aggression, human rights abuses, and corruption than Senator John McCain. Any suggestion to the contrary is clearly intended to distract from the serious ongoing investigations into Russia’s interference in our election system.”
No Senator has done more to start a new hot or cold war with Russia, that’s true, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to a pushback against Russian offenses. McCain is a tool of the Military Industrial Complex and it is that “stubborn” fact more than anything that is responsible for his hawkish positions on Russia, his willingness to strike at the drop of a hat.
Grassley had requested in his letter to Wray information regarding the FBI had provided any “defensive briefings” or warnings to the Trump campaign to alert them to any potential Russian operatives’ efforts to infiltrate their campaign. That would have been particularly useful if such threats existed, given the lack of experience in politics by many in the Trump campaign.
Grassley noted in the letter that during McCain’s 2008 presidential race he had been advised about the foreign lobbying activities of Rick Davis, McCain’s campaign manager and his business partner, Paul Manafort, who would later become Trump campaign chairman.
Emails sent by Manafort last April, shortly after joining the Trump campaign, indicated that he may have offered to provide a “private briefing” about the campaign to Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch and close associate of Vladimir Putin. Manafort reportedly set up two similar meetings between McCain and Deripaska in 2006 during his campaign.
Grassley suggested to Wray that the same type of preventative briefing should have been afforded the inexperienced Trump team that was granted the establishment fixture McCain and that Trump should have been warned about Manafort’s past.
Tarallo stated that neither McCain nor anyone on his staff “recalls receiving such warnings from the intelligence community” about Russian infiltration threats. She did address the claim by Weaver, the McCain campaign adviser, that U.S. intelligence had warned the campaign about Manafort and Davis.
The Daily Caller notes that “Tarallo also said that McCain’s 2006 interactions with Deripaska were ‘social occasions and entirely incidental.’” That sounds a lot like the response of AG Sessions to accusations he met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, as part of the normal social context of the Republican National Convention. That wasn’t enough for McCain to accept from Sessions at the time, but this is different; it’s McCain.
They then try to simply pawn off the inconsistencies and McCain’s involvement in the attacks on President Trump by endorsing the corrupt process that is in play. Tarallo said, “Senator McCain has high confidence in Special Counsel Mueller and our intelligence agencies, and trusts they will follow all of the facts surrounding Russia’s brazen attack on our election wherever they lead.”
She never did address the issue of the supposed great defender against Russia impropriety being provided warnings that the Trump camp was not. She also didn’t comment on Grassley’s discomfort with the fact that it was John McCain who had a messenger retrieve the fabricated Christopher Steele Russia dossier in London and then hand delivered it himself to James Comey.
McCain and Democrats have been very tight-lipped on his potential involvement with similar situations. Russia isn’t important if the finger of guilt points in his or their direction.
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