DownTrend – by V. Saxena
Two years before the late Sen. John McCain got annihilated by former President Barack Hussein Obama in the 2008 presidential election, he met with a sinister Russian oligarch “whose suspected links to anti-democratic and organized-crime figures are so controversial that the U.S. government revoked his visa.”
According to an investigatory piece published by The Washington Post during the 2008 election, the man who arranged the meeting between McCain and Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska was his campaign manager, Rick Davis. As in the same Rick Davis who co-founded the lobbying firm Davis-Manafort Inc. with Paul Manafort.
“With a net worth of more than $13 billion, Deripaska is one of the richest men in Russia and a close ally of President Vladimir Putin. McCain has been one of Putin’s sharpest U.S. critics, calling for Russia to be kicked out of the Group of Eight industrialized nations because of Putin’s anti-democratic activities. The Arizona Republican has also repeatedly complained about the negative impact of Kremlin-linked oligarchs such as Deripaska.”
Yet despite his public trash-talking of Deripaska, McCain hypocritically met with him in 2006 on Davis’ behalf and then later lied to the media about the nature of the meeting: “The McCain campaign later claimed that ‘any contact between Mr. Deripaska and the senator was social and incidental,’ but afterward Deripaska thanked Davis for arranging ‘such an intimate setting,’” The Nation magazine reported in 2008.
McCain and Deripaska also brushed shoulders during a social gathering in Montenegro in August of 2006. After a dinner attended by a few dozen people, including McCain and Deripaska, the GOP senator celebrated his 70th birthday “at a yacht party hosted by convicted Italian felon Raffaello Follieri and his movie-star girlfriend Anne Hathaway.” Moored nearby Follieri’s yacht was Deripaska’s yacht.
Long story short, Davis repeatedly used his position as McCain’s campaign manager to lobby on behalf of Russian criminals such as Deripaska just like Manafort used his position as President Donald Trump’s campaign manager to act similar. What’s the difference between the two? I’ll let conservative radio show host Rush Limbaugh explain:
“So let’s review. Donald Trump fires Paul Manafort after three months as his campaign manager because of his lobbying efforts for Russian aligned leaders in Ukraine. When Trump finds out about it, he gets rid of Manafort.”
“Meanwhile, McCain kept Rick Davis on as his campaign manager for more than a year [Ed. Note: McCain kept Davis on for the whole campaign], even though Davis was a partner in Manafort’s lobbying firm, and Davis is still to this day a managing partner of Davis Manafort because Manafort hasn’t been accused of trying to get Trump to meet with Russians, but Rick Davis succeeded in having Russians meet McCain.”
Now remember how McCain helped launch the Russian collusion witch hunt against Trump by funneling the Steele dossier to the FBI? Well, we now know for a fact that during Christopher Steele’s communication with the federal agency, he tried lobbying on behalf of Deripaska.
Here’s the kicker, as noted by Limbaugh: At least in McCain’s case the FBI warned him that sinister Russian operatives might try to interact with his campaign. Trump never received such a warning. Conversely, whereas nobody gave a damn about McCain’s colluding-like behavior, the world has been on Trump’s ass about his unproven collusion since the day he stepped into office.
[H]ere we have Davis Manafort involved in 2006 and 2008 in the McCain campaign, and McCain knowingly palling around and being introduced to Deripaska, nobody thinks is big deal. Nobody thinks the Russians are trying to affect the campaign, nobody thinks the Russians are trying to mess with the election, nobody thinks the Russians are trying to sabotage anything.
And now the same people who were not introduced to Trump, who were not brought in Trump’s inner circle — but not for lack of trying — the same people are now said to be actively attempting to undermine American elections by trying to make deals with Trump and have Trump blackmailable or whatever silly charges they’re making here about Trump and Russian collusion and Trump-Russian meddling.
But we didn’t hear anything about McCain and Russian meddling in 2008, even though it was happening then even more widespread than it ever did with Trump! And with the same players! Manafort and his partner, Rick Davis, and Oleg Deripaska. Nobody raised an eyebrow! Nobody had the slightest problem with any of it. You get a perfunctory warning from the government, “Hey, Senator McCain, you might want to be careful, dangerous Russian oligarch guy. They all have yachts, you gotta be real careful getting on the thing, Senator, but other than that, just thought you’d like to know.”
Same players, same efforts, but when it happened in the McCain campaign, nothing to see here. No Russian collusion, no Russian meddling, no nothing. Of course, there wasn’t a McCain dossier, either.
Not only was McCain possibly not a hero, or so some of the evidence suggests, but it seems he may have even been a villain — one who continuously sought to besmirch Trump’s reputation, even as he himself partook in the very sorts of sinister actions and meetings that he accused the president of partaking in.