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 »
The New Yorker has endorsed Hillary Clinton, saying that "barring some astonishment," she will become the next president. Calling Clinton "distinctly capable," the magazine excoriates Donald Trump as a candidate who "favors conspiracy theory and fantasy, deriving his knowledge from the darker recesses of the Internet and 'the shows.'" Additionally, the historical nature of the possibility of "send[ing] a woman to the White House" is not lost on the editors, who note the possibility more than once in the endorsement.
AT&T agreed to a deal on Saturday to buy Time Warner Inc. for a reported $85.4 billion, a merger that would turn AT&T into a media giant. The two companies announced that they hope to have the deal closed by the end of 2017. However, the completion of the deal will likely not be smooth sailing, as the deal faces potential backlash from antitrust workers, as well as lawmakers. Following the merger's announcement, multiple lawmakers raised skepticism and said they plan to scrutinize the deal further, with Minn. Sen. Amy Klobuchar calling for a hearing.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal, owned by casino magnate and GOP donor Sheldon Adelson, became the first major city newspaper to endorse Donald Trump over the weekend.“Mr. Trump represents neither the danger his critics claim nor the magic elixir many of his supporters crave,” the editorial read, acknowledging concerns about Trump’s temperament. “But neither candidate will ever be called to the dais to accept an award for moral probity and character,” the paper said. “And we are already distressingly familiar with the Clinton way, which involves turning public service into an orgy of influence peddling and entitlement designed to line their own pockets — precisely what a disgruntled electorate now rises up to protest.”
Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 12 percentage points among likely voters, 50 to 38 percent, in a new ABC News tracking poll, "her highest support and his lowest to date in ABC News and ABC News/Washington Post polls. Gary Johnson has 5 percent support, Jill Stein 2 percent. Clinton led by only four points in the last ABC/Post poll on Oct. 13.
President Obama "will make a late splash into races for state senate and assembly over the next week, endorsing roughly 150 candidates across 20 states. He’ll also back a candidate for the North Carolina Supreme Court. The endorsements — which will come along with a variety of robocalls, social media posts, mailers, photos of Obama with the candidates taken as he’s been traveling to campaign in recent weeks, and even a few radio ads — are Obama’s biggest investment in state races ever by far."