After a lengthy investigation and decimation of tax revenue over whether or not Attorney General Jeff Sessions met with the Russian Ambassador, while he served as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, another member of the same committee has claimed that she has never met with the elusive Mr. Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak as well. Democrat Senator Claire McCaskill has claimed that she has never had a meeting with Mr. Kislyak during her tenure with the Committee. Amazingly, no one seems to have ever met with Mr. Kislyak either. But Mrs. McCaskill has gone so far as to publicly state that she has never even met with the Ambassador.
Sessions, a former Republican senator from Alabama, defended the one-on-one he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak because it was part of his duties as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, not as a surrogate for President Donald Trump’s campaign.
In a retort, McCaskill, also a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said she never met with Kislyak, who has held his position since 2008.
I would surmise that it would serve Mrs. McCaskill well to consult her own Twitter account in order to aid in her recollection of past events…
Off to meeting w/Russian Ambassador. Upset about the arbitrary/cruel decision to end all US adoptions,even those in process.
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) January 30, 2013
Not only did she meet with the Ambassador, She actually attended a reception at his home.
In March, Sen. Claire McCaskill was unambiguous. The Missouri Democrat said she never once met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in her 10 years serving on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“No call or meeting w/Russian ambassador. Ever,” McCaskill tweeted. “Ambassadors call members of Foreign [Relations Committee].”
Soon after that tweet, it was revealed she did interact with the Russian ambassador.
And now, CNN has learned, McCaskill spent an evening at a black-tie reception at the ambassador’s Washington residence in November 2015.
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.”
A spokesman for McCaskill later said the senator interned for Symington in college and considers him a mentor.
Furthermore, she may even need to retrieve the receipt for the payment she made for the event via a personal foundation, in order to further jog her memory.
Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.) used a personal foundation to pay for a dinner she attended at Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s Washington, D.C., residence. The senator had failed to disclose her role in the foundation until earlier this month.
McCaskill’s attendance at the dinner was accompanied by an $873 payment to the American-Russian Cultural Cooperation Foundation, where Kislyak serves on the board of directors as honorary chairman.
The payment to Kislyak’s foundation was not made directly by McCaskill—it was made through a foundation, the Shepard Family Foundation, that she set up with her husband Joseph Shepard in 2013 but failed to disclose in filings to the Senate ethics committee until three weeks ago.
The sudden disclosure of McCaskill’s role in the foundation—which had to be inserted into disclosures covering 2014, 2015, and 2016 through amendments on June 6—came as part of anattempt to distance herself from investments in an opioid manufacturer.
McCaskill said the investments were listed as part of her personal holdings by mistake, and that they actually belonged to the foundation. The senator announced she was spearheading an investigation into the opioid industry weeks earlier.
It was during the process of correcting the investments that McCaskill discovered she had failed to disclose her position on the foundation’s board of directors in Senate filings, her office said.
A McCaskill spokesman said the senator’s decision to use the then-undisclosed foundation to pay for the dinner was not part of an attempt to hide it.
“Senator McCaskill and her family support a variety of causes through the Shepard Family Foundation, including this donation at a nonprofit event honoring a beloved Missouri Congressman,” said John LaBombard.
LaBombard also noted the foundation’s contributions to Missouri nonprofits such as College Bound, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Mission St. Louis.
The payment to Kislyak’s foundation was properly disclosed in the foundation’s 2015 tax filing, which also lists a $10,000 contribution to Planned Parenthood.
McCaskill has said the contributions to Planned Parenthood are because of one of her daughters.
“One of my daughters believes very strongly in the charitable side of care given by Planned Parenthood,” she said. “I could have said no, but that’s not the way we do this.”
Events held by the American-Russian Cultural Cooperation Foundation have been attended by high-profile Republicans and Democrats alike, but McCaskill’s criticism of Attorney General Jeff Sessions for meeting with Kislyak has put the spotlight on her.
McCaskill has quoted a Democratic colleague on the Senate Armed Services Committee who saidhe “would never dream of meeting with the Russian ambassador without the State Department there because we know they spy on us.”
Life does zing towards you extremely quickly, doesn’t it…