A Senator Tried to Throw Jeff Sessions Under the Bus. It Backfired Badly.
The Democrat senator from the great state of Missouri, Claire McCaskill, is struggling to explain why she lied about meeting Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in 2015. McCaskill, who made the (unsolicited) denial in March as an attempt to throw Jeff Sessions under the bus, is now blaming Twitter’s word-limit for her baldfaced lie.
After Sessions explained that he may have had contact with Kislyak as part of his ordinary duties as part of the Senate Armed Services Committee, his former colleague McCaskill – desperate to get her name in the paper, apparently – tweeted out that she was on that committee and SHE never had such meetings.
“I’ve been on the Armed Services Com for 10 years,” she wrote haughtily. “No call or meeting w/Russian ambassador. Ever. Ambassadors call members of Foreign Rel Com.”
So pious. So certain.
Sharp-eyed web surfers quickly unveiled the lie, based on…tweets McCaskill herself had made in previous years. In 2013, she wrote, “Off to meeting w/Russian Ambassador. Upset about the arbitrary/cruel decision to end all U.S. adoptions, even those in process.”
And in August of 2015, she wrote: “Today calls with British, Russian, and German Ambassadors re: Iran deal.” She gave this one the pompous hashtag “#doingmyhomework.”
And according to a new report from CNN, even those two tweets did not convey the full extent of her relationship with Kislyak. In the report, headlined “McCaskill spent an evening at a black-tie reception at the ambassador’s Washington residence in November 2015,” CNN.com wrote:
McCaskill was photographed at the event, honoring former Democratic Rep. James Symington, who hails from her state of Missouri and worked to promote US-Russia relations.
In an interview, McCaskill acknowledged attending the dinner, but she said she only did so because of her long-standing relationship with Symington, whom she said “kind of got me started in politics.” She claimed the 140-character limit on Twitter did not let her clarify that she never met “one-on-one” with the Russian ambassador, and added she “did not” speak with Kislyak at the reception.
McCaskill, who is one of the most vulnerable Democrats up for reelection next year, conceded she should have exercised more caution in her initial tweet.
“I should’ve been careful about the 140 characters and given it context,” McCaskill said. “But it’s not the first or the last time my tweets will get me in trouble.”
Now, obviously Sen. McCaskill is free to meet with the Russian ambassador as much as she likes. And, from the looks of things, she liked to do so relatively frequently. The only problem is that there isn’t really any wiggle room in her original tweet, exemplified by that standalone “Ever” that she threw in there. She was trying to smear Sessions by getting up on her holy throne, and it totally backfired. Turns out, you CAN have meetings that you later forget about, especially when you have no idea they’ll wind up the subject of a Washington witch hunt later on.