Unfortunately, We Won’t Be Seeing a Putin-McCain Debate

The Arizona senator’s op-ed is up at <em>Pravda</em>. But the Russian president’s press secretary says not to expect much more than that.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his visit to the new headquarters of "Russia Today" TV channel in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, June 11, 2013. 
AP
Matt Berman
Add to Briefcase
See more stories about...
Matt Berman
Sept. 19, 2013, 5:30 a.m.

The mo­ment you were maybe wait­ing for has ar­rived: Sen. John Mc­Cain, R-Ar­iz., is of­fi­cially a pub­lished colum­nist in Rus­sia’s Pravda (but not the Pravda you’re think­ing of, see up­date be­low). The opin­ion piece is head­lined “Sen­at­or John Mc­Cain: Rus­si­ans de­serve bet­ter than Putin.” But un­for­tu­nately, Putin’s press sec­ret­ary thinks we all de­serve bet­ter than see­ing the two square-off.

In the op-ed, Mc­Cain pushes aside the idea that he is some­how anti-Rus­si­an. “I am pro-Rus­si­an,” he writes, “more pro-Rus­si­an than the re­gime that mis­rules you today.” He con­tin­ues:

Pres­id­ent Putin and his as­so­ci­ates … don’t re­spect your dig­nity or ac­cept your au­thor­ity over them. They pun­ish dis­sent and im­pris­on op­pon­ents. They rig your elec­tions. They con­trol your me­dia. They har­ass, threaten, and ban­ish or­gan­iz­a­tions that de­fend your right to self-gov­ernance. To per­petu­ate their power they foster rampant cor­rup­tion in your courts and your eco­nomy and ter­ror­ize and even as­sas­sin­ate journ­al­ists who try to ex­pose their cor­rup­tion.

In his con­clu­sion, Mc­Cain writes that he longs for the day when Rus­si­ans have a gov­ern­ment that an­swers to them. The column is worth read­ing, if only for the pure oddity of how it came about and how Mc­Cain tries to ad­dress the Rus­si­an people. 

And yes, Vladi­mir Putin will be read­ing the op-ed.

At least that’s ac­cord­ing to his press sec­ret­ary, Dmitry Peskov, quoted by Rus­sia’s IT­AR-TASS. “We will def­in­itely read it,” he said, but “en­ga­ging him in de­bate is un­likely — it’s the point of view of someone liv­ing across the ocean.”

Peskov also quibbled with what Mc­Cain ac­tu­ally wrote:

As far as what Rus­si­ans de­serve — they’re cap­able of an­swer­ing this ques­tion them­selves and they do an­swer it dur­ing elec­tions. I don’t think that point of view of someone across the ocean plays any sort of role in how Rus­si­ans ex­press their will.

Ap­par­ently, be­ing on the oth­er side of the ocean means that you can’t help guide the policies of an­oth­er coun­try. Per­haps this mes­sage should be trans­mit­ted to Putin.

UP­DATE (9:40 a.m.): CNN re­ports that the Mc­Cain op-ed saga may be even stranger than we thought. Ac­cord­ing to CNN, the Pravda that pub­lished Mc­Cain’s op-ed is just a Rus­si­an web­site, and not ac­tu­ally the Pravda news­pa­per that’s been around since 1912. The two or­gan­iz­a­tions have no con­nec­tion, and just hap­pen to share a name.

Sen. Mc­Cain’s of­fice sent a draft of his op-ed to both the news­pa­per and the un­affli­ated web­site. The news­pa­per didn’t ac­tu­ally pub­lish the piece.

What We're Following See More »
JUST IN CASE…
White House Adds Five New SCOTUS Candidates
3 hours ago
THE DETAILS

President Trump added five new names to his Supreme Court short list on Friday, should a need arise to appoint a new justice. The list now numbers 25 individuals. They are: 7th Circuit Appeals Judge Amy Coney Barrett, Georgia Supreme Court Justice Britt C. Grant, District of Columbia Circuit Appeals Court Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, 11th Circuit Appeals Judge Kevin C. Newsom, and Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Patrick Wyrick.

SAVE THOSE PERTAINING TO EXEC BRANCH
Sessions: DOJ Will No Longer Issue Guidance Documents
3 hours ago
WHY WE CARE

"Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Friday the Justice Department will revamp its policy for issuing guidance documents. Speaking at the Federalist Society’s annual conference in Washington Friday, Sessions said the Justice Department will no longer issue guidance that 'purports to impose new obligations on any party outside the executive branch.' He said DOJ will review and repeal any documents that could violate this policy." Sessions said: “Too often, rather than going through the long, slow, regulatory process provided in statute, agencies make new rules through guidance documents—by simply sending a letter. This cuts off the public from the regulatory process by skipping the required public hearings and comment periods—and it is simply not what these documents are for. Guidance documents should be used to explain existing law—not to change it.”

Source:
STARTS LEGAL FUND FOR WH STAFF
Trump to Begin Covering His Own Legal Bills
5 hours ago
THE DETAILS
DISCUSSED THE MATTER FOR A NEW BOOK
Steele Says Follow the Money
6 hours ago
STAFF PICKS

"Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence officer who wrote the explosive dossier alleging ties between Donald Trump and Russia," says in a new book by The Guardian's Luke Harding that "Trump's land and hotel deals with Russians needed to be examined. ... Steele did not go into further detail, Harding said, but seemed to be referring to a 2008 home sale to the Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev. Richard Dearlove, who headed the UK foreign-intelligence unit MI6 between 1999 and 2004, said in April that Trump borrowed money from Russia for his business during the 2008 financial crisis."

Source:
BRITISH PUBLICIST CONNECTED TO TRUMP TOWER MEETING
Goldstone Ready to Meet with Mueller’s Team
7 hours ago
THE LATEST

"The British publicist who helped set up the fateful meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a group of Russians at Trump Tower in June 2016 is ready to meet with Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's office, according to several people familiar with the matter. Rob Goldstone has been living in Bangkok, Thailand, but has been communicating with Mueller's office through his lawyer, said a source close to Goldstone."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login