Wikileaks released documents that reveal Senator John McCain tried to raise funds from the Russians – in specific, UN envoy Vitaly Churkin, who died unexpectedly a few days ago. McCain has been intent on calling Russian “hacking” as an “act of war” since the election. But is his push caused by something besides anger over their interference in the 2016 elections?
An article by the Washington Post from September of 2008 states,
The Russian mission issued a statement saying “we have received a letter from Senator John McCain with a request for a financial donation to his presidential election campaign. In this respect we have to reiterate that neither Russia’s permanent mission to the United Nations, nor the Russian government or its officials finance political activities in foreign countries.”
It is illegal for an American political candidate to accept campaign contributions from a foreign government. “It was just a mistake. We don’t solicit folks who can’t give,” said McCain-Palin spokesman Brian Rogers. Asked whether there were any other ambassadors that they planned to solicit, Rogers laughed and said, “I hope not. Maybe we’ll find out tomorrow.” …
“He must have been really desperate,” said one European official, when informed of McCain’s Russian appeal.
The McCain letter tells Churkin, “I am reaching out to you to ask you to sign and return the enclosed 2008 Pledge of Support along with a campaign contribution of $35, $50, $100, $500, $1,000, $2,500 or even $5,000 to the McCain-Palin Victory 2008.”
Wikileaks staff have verified the authenticity of the document. Obviously the statement is designed to undermine the McCain campaign and is an extremely interesting Russian intervention into US domestic politics. It remains to be seen whether the play, which lacks subtlety, will backfire and generate support for McCain.
According to the document metadata (which can be manipulated, though rarely is), the document was created by “INT10”, underwent two revisions and was saved by “INT9” with a version of word is registered to organization “MID”. Although Wikileaks normally removes metadata, we have not done so in this instance since the document is intended to be public and may be a significant political play by Russian intelligence.
Probably some over excitable campaign worker sent out the letter. So…let’s get this straight. McCain’s ire over “Russian intervention” in the election may come down to anger over his own mistake that undermined his campaign in 2008?