John McCain’s 2008 Meetings with a Russian Oligarch

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RUSH: I have a story here from January 25, 2008, from the Washington Post. Now, I’m not gonna be able to get all this in before the next upcoming break. Headline: “Aide Helped Controversial Russian Meet McCain.” By the way, warning, warning, this is not a critical piece or comment from me on Senator McCain. That’s not what this is. Ready?

“A top political adviser in Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign helped arrange an introduction in 2006 between McCain and a Russian billionaire whose suspected links to anti-democratic and organized-crime figures are so controversial that the U.S. government revoked his visa.

“Rick Davis, who is now McCain’s campaign manager –” remember this is 2008 — Rick Davis, who, by the way, is the Davis in Manafort Davis LLC, not to be confused with Rick Gates. This is Rick Davis of Manafort Davis, McCain’s campaign manager.

Washington Post: “Rick Davis, who is now McCain’s campaign manager, helped set up the encounter between McCain and Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska.” Does the name sound familiar? Deripaska was involved in the so-called Trump Tower meeting with Trump Jr. “Rick Davis, McCain’s campaign manager –” who is also his campaign manager in 2000 and 2008. “– set up the encounter between McCain and Russian aluminum oligarch Oleg Deripaska in Switzerland during an international economic conference. At the time, Davis was working for a lobbying firm,” Davis Manafort.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Again, Washington Post January 25th, 2008 — this is the year McCain is running for president the second time — the headline: “Aide Helped Controversial Russian Meet McCain — A top political adviser in Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign helped arrange an introduction in 2006 between McCain and a Russian billionaire –” this is two years prior to McCain running. “– whose suspected links to anti-democratic and organized-crime figures are so controversial that the U.S. government revoked his visa.”

This is Deripaska. You’ve heard his name mentioned in relation to the Trump Tower meeting that Don Jr. had with Russians. Rick Davis, McCain’s campaign manager, also in 2000, “Rick Davis, campaign manager for McCain, helped set up the encounter between McCain and Russian aluminum magnate Oleg Deripaska in Switzerland during an international economic conference. At the time, Davis,” McCain’s campaign manager, “was working for a lobbying firm and seeking to do business with the billionaire.

“Deripaska was grateful for the introduction, writing a thank-you note to Davis and his partner and offering to assist them in a subsequent business deal, according to a copy of the note obtained by The Washington Post. 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.”

Why, what do you think was happening? Why, were the Russians involved in the McCain campaign in 2008? But wait, folks. This gets even better. “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.

” has also repeatedly complained about the negative impact of Kremlin-linked oligarchs such as Deripaska. When Deripaska met McCain, Davis was part of Davis Manafort, a lobbying firm that was being paid to provide political advice to pro-Russian and oligarch-funded candidates in Ukraine.

“Davis’s firm provided political advice to a pro-Russian party in Ukraine during the parliamentary elections of 2006. McCain, on the other hand, backed President Viktor Yushchenko, a Western-oriented reformer who led 2004’s Orange Revolution, which overturned what he and his allies considered an election stolen by the party helped by Davis’s firm.”

Now, let me connect the dots here for you, ladies and gentlemen, ’cause the story goes on. Deripaska in 2006 wrote to Rick Davis of Davis Manafort — in other words, in 2006, Deripaska wrote to Davis and his partner, Paul Manafort, to thank them for arranging the meeting. “Thank you so much for setting up everything in Klosters so spectacularly,” he wrote. “It was very interesting to meet Senators McCain, Chambliss and Sununu in such an intimate setting.” That was Deripaska thinking Davis for setting up this meeting.

“Seven months later, in August 2006, Davis was present again at a social gathering that was also attended by McCain and Deripaska, this time in Montenegro, another Eastern European country in which Davis’s firm was working.”

So McCain’s campaign manager, Rick Davis, of Davis Manafort is arranging introductions between McCain and a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska! Deripaska is thanking Davis for all of the access! Davis was McCain’s campaign manager from July 2007 to November 2008. Before that he was a McCain adviser.

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, 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.

Rick Davis hooked up a notorious Russian oligarch and Putin pal with John McCain a couple of times, including on a yacht where they were celebrating McCain’s 70th birthday. But would you like to know the kicker to this? The kicker is that when government law enforcement found out about it they warned McCain that there might be a bad guy Russian actor that he’s interacted — they warned McCain who this guy might be. They did not plant or embed spies in the McCain campaign to try to get McCain doing deals with Russia or Deripaska. They warned McCain.

They did not warn Donald Trump. But does anybody find it fascinating that Paul Manafort who worked for Trump for all of three months and never once facilitated a meeting between Trump and any Russians, that Manafort’s partner is a long-standing member of McCain’s inner circle and did arrange such things? And we have to remember, too, that when the Steele dossier, when it first became known, McCain was one of those who dispatched somebody from his office to go to the U.K. and get a copy of it. McCain was one of the early believers in the dossier.

This is so thick, folks, and murky that seeing to the bottom of this with the naked eye is next to impossible. But here 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.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: This is Bob in Chicago. Great to have you with us, sir. Glad to have you with us on the EIB Network. Hi.

CALLER: Hey, Rush. I enrolled in the University of Limbaugh in 1990, and I still haven’t graduated! What’s going on with that?

RUSH: Well, there is no degrees because there are no graduates. You will never graduate because the learning never stops. There’s no way you get a degree here because we don’t stop teaching.

CALLER: (garbled cell) Exactly. You know how people when they graduate they get a bumper sticker? In 1994 I had a bumper sticker on my truck in Chicago, “Rush Is Right.” I experienced my first leftist violence against me because of that sticker. A guy in traffic got out and started screaming out, “F— Rush!” Well, he lost that battle. Enough said. I’m just letting you know how it is out there. You’r ethe one that led the way and I had to take my Trump stickers off my Trump due to violence against many. Very crazy out here. But concerning McCain, God rest his soul, bless his him and his family, give him comfort. He was a war hero, a great military man. But, ironically, he became the Jane Fonda of the Republican Party. Kind of scary. Very scary.

RUSH: Nah, wait a minute. I wouldn’t… What do you mean the…? No, no, no, no.

CALLER: Eh, c’mon. He —

RUSH: No, no, no. Nobody in our party’s ever done a Jane Fonda. That’s… That’s —

CALLER: (laughing)

RUSH: Jane Fonda got on the North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun and started pretending to shoot down planes.

CALLER: I consider the Democrat Party truly the enemy of United States, and I’m not the only one. I mean, you wouldn’t believe how many people… You know, Rush, I started listening to you not to get information from you. It’s because you agreed with me growing up. What you said… I was attracted to your radio show because I’m listening and I go, “Wait a minute. Here’s a guy that actually speaks like me and my relatives and my friends and my police buddies and my military buddies. This guy’s right on.”

RUSH: That’s right.

CALLER: Yeah, Jane Fonda? That’s extreme, but he was a betrayer, and I wonder if… It sounds mean. He did die, but guess what? We’re all gonna die. Jane Fonda’s an extreme comment to say. But at the same time do you think John McCain hated Trump when Trump was giving money and donating to his campaign? Do you think any of these guys that hated Trump…? (garbled)

RUSH: I teh, you sound like you’re calling in the middle of traffic, like you’re in the middle of the road out there, and I’m having trouble hearing you. But I’ve got in and out of to deal with this, I think. The acrimony between Trump and McCain is obvious, but it predates Trump saying that he doesn’t respect military people who get caught, that he has no respect for people that get captured. McCain and Trump never did have a mutual admiration society.

There was acrimony between them for a long time, and it was coming. McCain got his payback. You know, he triumphantly came back to Washington and voted very visibly thumbs down to repealing and replacing Obamacare. I’m telling you, that rubbed a lot of people the wrong way. A lot of Republicans were rubbed the wrong way by that. But the Never Trumpers and the people that hated Trump loved it because their hatred of Trump is far more valuable to them than the advancement of policy they agree with. That’s how personal all of this is.

But the acrimony, it started, I think, even before all of this. There was a reason Trump said those things about McCain early on in his campaign. But McCain is not in any way traitorous. I can’t even discuss that with a straight face. Of all the people to compare McCain to, Jane Fonda was the absolute… There is literally no connection whatsoever. Now, I know what he’s trying to say. McCain sabotaged his own party a number of times, this guy thinks, by siding with Democrats in his mind Democrats are the enemy of America.

McCain siding with them is on a par with Jane Fonda siding with the North Vietnamese. But McCain never once in his life intended to dishonor America or think that America was the problem in the world to the point of aligning with our enemies, which is what Jane Fonda was doing. McCain is the antithesis to Jane Fonda, no matter how you want to draw a comparison and analogy. But look, the man has passed away. He was 81.

He’s been suffering from a really, really devastating cancer for over a year. He outlasted every doctor prediction on his survival. I remember reading when it was announced publicly, when the McCain family announced the kind of cancer he had, the brain cancer behind his left ear. I remember reading… You can read people saying anything these days, and I remember reading a couple of doctors. After familiarizing themselves with the diagnosis, they were brutal in their assessment of the length of time Senator McCain had.

In some cases, a month or two. But he made it a full year after the diagnosis. But Senator McCain is like any of us; he had a family who loved him and cherished him and that he loved and cherished that he devoted everything to. There’s nothing about Senator McCain the way he lived his life that is worthy of criticism in the days following his death. We’re all going to have political disagreements with people, and they seem now to be as partisan and unyielding as they’ve ever been in many people’s lifetimes.

So much so that all kinds of decorum and custom is blown to smithereens in America each and every day in terms of polite way to deal with people and their suffering or their family suffering or death. Depending on where you go, you can find people have no respect for that whatsoever and no sensitivity to anybody’s feelings at all. They’ll just launch with whatever they think and say at whatever time they feel like doing it and in the process hope they get noticed doing it.

You know, I had running battles with Senator McCain. I forget the number of times, but he had his ongoing insults for me. It was largely over comprehensive immigration reform. And I had an imitation for the way he spoke that, you know, he thought was a little bit overdone at times. But at the same time, John McCain, the human being, and the life he lived is…

There’s no sense in trying to poke holes in it in any way, shape, manner, or form. There’s none. It’s never… This is not the time to try to score any political points. “Well, weren’t you just doing that with the story of Rick Davis?” No, no, no, folks. I’m trying to point out the Russians have been all over the Republicans since 2008. Back when they were trying to infiltrate the McCain campaign, nobody cared! It wasn’t any big deal! That’s my only point.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Now, what was that that you just saw on MSNBC? On the Republican side, you mean, without John McCain, who will put the country ahead of their party? Well, are they not just behaving true to type? I mean, that’s exactly what you would expect. “Without John McCain, where is the Republican that will put country ahead of party?” Are they kidding me? Put country ahead of party? When did they ever do that themselves? With Democrats, the Democrat Party is country.

Anyway, greetings, and welcome back, my friends. It’s wonderful to have you here. Rush Limbaugh behind the Golden EIB Microphone at 800-282-2882.

Now, there’s a companion story to this Washington Post story that I shared. I think this is bombshell stuff. I really do. We found it going back to the Washington Post 2008 ten years ago. I mean, I can’t say this is a scoop. But I haven’t seen anybody else go back and find this. I mean, Rick Davis, McCain’s campaign manager, working for Manafort Davis or Davis Manafort, a lobbying firm, the Manafort part of that firm is going to jail.

Rick Davis helped introduce McCain to a Russian oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, who is a central figure in the Trump Tower meeting with Trump Jr. and Russians, which they’re trying to say proves Trump knew and that there was collusion and all that. But back when it was happening in the McCain campaign, nobody cared. In fact, the FBI warned Senator McCain to be careful of Oleg Deripaska. The guy could have ties to Putin. You might want to be very careful in dealing with the guy. No such warnings for Donald Trump.

Now, there’s a companion story to this from 2018, and it is by Sara Carter. This was from the archives of Circa, which is where she used to work with — I think still does — John Solomon. It turns out that she did remember McCain’s connection to Davis Manafort back in June of this year. The Drive-By Media ignored her story.

She adds some details to the Washington Post piece that the Washington Post missed, such as the fact that Rick Davis was McCain’s campaign manager in 2000 as well. And her headline — this was back in June of this year, a couple months ago: “Here’s the Russia Influence Controversy that John McCain Doesn’t Want You to Know About.

Sara Carter: “The same foreign lobbyists and Russians tied to the Trump probe were once associated to Senator John McCain when he ran for president. Sen. John McCain, always the political maverick, recently bucked his own Republican Party by refusing to defend President Donald Trump in the Russia investigation and even suggesting the matter was reaching epic proportions.”

Well, Senator McCain was in the front of the line in making sure that everybody knew about the dossier. He sent one of his staff on a plane across the Atlantic Ocean to get a copy of it when he first heard about it. I mean, this is — look, and don’t anybody start climbing on my back here. This is not to be critical of Senator McCain. It’s not what this is.

As usual, we are pointing out the lying hypocrisy of the Drive-By Media, the Democrat Party, and the deep state. Because when McCain’s campaign manager was setting up all these meetings for McCain with these Russians, it was no big deal. Nobody gave it a second thought. Nobody thought the Russians were trying to meddle or collude or any of that.

Well, maybe they didn’t think McCain had a chance of beating Obama, and he didn’t. Obama had two-to-one electoral vote advantage over McCain when the voting was done. But still, this is just uncanny.

“The same foreign lobbyists and Russians tied to the Trump probe were once associated to Senator John McCain when he ran for president. Sen. John McCain, always the political maverick, recently bucked his own Republican Party by refusing to defend President Donald Trump in the Russia investigation and even suggesting the matter was reaching epic proportions. ‘I think it is reaching the point it is a Watergate size and scale,’ Senator McCain said.

“There was just one fact missing from his narrative: Exactly one decade earlier it was McCain’s own presidential campaign that was being roiled by concerns of possible Russian influence in his own inner circle. In fact, McCain’s drama involved the same foreign lobbyist Paul Manafort; one of the same Russian oligarchs, Oleg Deripaska; the same Russian diplomat, Sergey Kislyak, and the same wily Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, that now dominate the current Trump controversy.

“The only difference? The FBI has said that there is no evidence to date that Trump ever met with a Russian figure banned from the United States.” But McCain did.

“McCain actually met twice with Deripaska, a Russian businessman and Putin ally whose visa was blocked by the United States amidst intelligence community concerns about his ties to Moscow. The meetings were arranged by Manafort and his lobbying firm partner Rick Davis, who later would become McCain’s campaign manager, according to interviews and documents.”

Davis was McCain’s campaign manager in both 2000 and 2008. Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign manager for three months, resigned in August 2016 over questions of prior work with Ukrainian political parties. U.S intelligence raised concerns to McCain’s staff about the Davis Manafort lobbying firm work. This is according to — is this Rick Weaver?

Anyway, “McCain’s office also was warned by U.S. intelligence about possible Russian military connections to one of his policy advisers at the IRI, causing aides to scramble to separate the Russian-born expert from the U.S. senator.” McCain did not fire Rick Davis. Trump did fire Manafort the moment he heard there might be a problem. Trump was not warned by U.S. officials. McCain was.

“Manafort was first questioned by the FBI about his Russian and Ukrainian ties in 2014, two years before he became Trump’s campaign manager,” for 100 days “and agents probed him on how he first came to work for Deripaska through McCain’s top political adviser.”

Well, well, well. And this story goes on. There’s a whole other full page. Look. We’re gonna put both links at RushLimbaugh.com so you’ll be able to read them entirety yourself, either at our website or on the RushLimbaugh.com app. That is just another glaring example of the two-tier justice system that we have going on here.

McCain, a proud, accepted member of the Washington establishment, the deep state, whatever. He was warned. He was told to be careful. Nothing happened. There was nothing anybody thought that was anything untoward between the Russians and McCain meeting, versus now, the same people who met with McCain and his campaign manager are now involved with Trump.

Except they’re not. They never met Trump. These people never met Trump. He never took a meeting with them. And yet Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election from Hillary! Well, where was the story of McCain colluding with Russia to steal the election from Obama? Well, obviously we didn’t get that story.

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