John McCain,  President 2008

John McCain Watch: McCain Denies Lobbyist FLAP


John McCain is denying he had an inappropriate relationship with a female lobbyist.

Remember the FLAP from last night regarding this New York Times piece.

John McCain at a news conference this morning in Ohio has denied the allegations in the New York Times and apparently the ones outlined in a similar but distinct piece in this morning’s Washington Post.

John McCain emphatically denied a romantic relationship with a female telecommunications lobbyist on Thursday and said a report by The New York Times suggesting favoritism for her clients is “not true.”

“I’m very disappointed in the article. It’s not true,” the likely Republican presidential nominee said as his wife, Cindy, stood beside him during a news conference called to address the matter.

“I’ve served this nation honorably for more than half a century,” said McCain, a four-term Arizona senator and former Navy pilot. “At no time have I ever done anything that would betray the public trust.”

“I intend to move on,” he added.

McCain described the woman in question, lobbyist Vicki Iseman, as a friend.

The newspaper quoted anonymous aides as saying they had urged McCain and Iseman to stay away from each other prior to his failed presidential campaign in 2000. In its own follow-up story, The Washington Post quoted longtime aide John Weaver, who split with McCain last year, as saying he met with lobbyist Iseman and urged her to steer clear of McCain.

Weaver told the Times he arranged the meeting before the 2000 campaign after “a discussion among the campaign leadership” about Iseman.

Well, someone is not telling the truth – either former campaign aide John Weaver or Senator McCain. In the meantime, Bill Keller, Executive Editor of the New York Times stands by his paper’s story and its timing of publication.

“On the substance, we think the story speaks for itself. On the timing, our policy is, we publish stories when they are ready.

“‘Ready’ means the facts have been nailed down to our satisfaction, the subjects have all been given a full and fair chance to respond, and the reporting has been written up with all the proper context and caveats.

“This story was no exception. It was a long time in the works. It reached my desk late Tuesday afternoon. After a final edit and a routine check by our lawyers, we published it.”

So, will this be the tip of the iceberg with other anonymous leaks from former campaign aides? Or will this story die from its own weight of being light on facts and most of which occurred almost ten years ago?

Flap believes the latter.

And, what about the New York Times and their OWN agenda which The New Republic chastises here?