McCarthyite-style hysteria was in full force again on Thursday, as Democrats continue to scramble to link members of the Trump administration to Russia. After collecting the scalp of General Michael Flynn, the Democrats now set their sights on Attorney General Jeff Sessions… attempting to oust him for speaking to Russian Ambassador S I Kislyak during his time in the Senate Armed Services Committee. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) landed herself in hot water for chiming in, tweeting that she never once met with a Russian ambassador during her time in the Senate Armed Services Committee:
I’ve been on the Armed Services Committee for 10 years. No call or meeting with Russian ambassador. Ever. Ambassadors call members of Foreign Relations Committee.
Unfortunately for the Missouri Senator, the internet doesn’t forget. People quickly pointed up that she twice tweeted about the Russian ambassador… in 2013 and 2015. She wrote on 30 January 2013:
Off to meeting w/Russian Ambassador. Upset about the arbitrary/cruel decision to end all US adoptions, even those in process.
On 6 August 2015, McCaskill tweeted:
Today, calls with British, Russian, and German Ambassadors re: Iran deal. #doingmyhomework.
The Senator quickly attempted to distance herself from the hypocritical tweets, telling NBC News:
The meeting didn’t have anything to do with the Armed Services. I’ve never met with him one-on-one.
This comes one day after the New York Times revealed that Obama officials were actively spreading information about Trump’s alleged Russia connections to undermine the current administration:
In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election… and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J Trump and Russians… across the government.
Former Obama administration officials speaking anonymously to the paper claimed:
One of our goals was to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer responded to the NYT claims:
The only new piece of information that came to light is that political appointees in the Obama administration sought to create a false narrative to make an excuse for their own defeat in the election. There continues to be no “there” there.
The report also outlined the efforts taken during former President Obama’s final days in the White House. To make sure that the intelligence information they collected on “Russian meddling” reached as many people as possible, they kept reports at low classification levels so that they could share it widely within the US government and even with European allies.
On Wednesday, hot on the heels of a widely praised speech by President Trump before Congress, an unnamed Justice Department official leaked to the media that Sessions had two conversations with Ambassador Kislyak last year when he was still a Senator. During Sessions’ 10 January confirmation hearing, they asked him if he had contact with Russians during his time on the Trump campaign, and he asserted that he didn’t. They didn’t ask him about his time in the Senate. The Washington Post pointed up that the conversations took place once in a group of ambassadors who approached Sessions at a Heritage Foundation event during the Republican National Convention in July 2016, and again in an office meeting on 8 September of that same year. Sessions wasn’t working for the campaign at those times. Sessions spokesman Sarah Isgur Flores stated:
There was absolutely nothing misleading about his answer. Last year, the senator had over 25 conversations with foreign ambassadors as a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, including the British, Korean, Japanese, Polish, Indian, Chinese, Canadian, Australian, German, and Russian ambassadors. He was asked during the hearing about communications between Russia and the Trump campaign… not about meetings he took as a senator and a member of the Armed Services Committee.”
Additionally, Wikileaks revealed that the new darling of the left, Republican Senator John McCain, requested donations from Russian officials for his own presidential campaign in 2008. The Russian Mission to the UN stated in response to McCain’s request:
We received a letter from Senator John McCain requesting a financial contribution to his Presidential campaign. In this connection, we’d like to reiterate that Russian officials, the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the UN, or the Russian Government don’t finance political activity in foreign countries.
The Senator claimed that his staffers mistakenly sent the donation request. McCain is one of the most prominent voices speaking on the unsubstantiated claims of Russian interference and the Trump administration’s connections to Russia. Repeatedly, he’s advocated that the USA take a more aggressive stance against the Kremlin. In January, McCain declared that Russia was a bigger threat to the USA than ISIS was.
2 March 2017