The compleat Claire

Seeking to distinguish herself from Attorney General Sessions, who explained that previously undisclosed encounters with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak had taken place as a part of his routine senatorial duties, Claire McCaskill all but accused Sessions of lying. McCaskill wanted it to be known that, despite her membership with Sessions on the Armed Services Committee, she had never suffered such a close encounter either in person or by telephone despite her membership on the Armed Services Committee.

It didn’t take long to refute McCaskill with her own words in two tweets.

This is old news, now recapitulated by Cameron Cawthorne at the Washington Free Beacon. The Free Beacon is prompted to look back at the compleat Claire today as a result of Manu Raju’s CNN report noting that McCaskill attended a black-tie dinner at the Russian ambassador’s 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.”

Confronted by Raju, McCaskill pleaded guilty with an explanation: “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.”

Raju doesn’t follow up on this point, but I wonder why are to take McCaskill’s word that she didn’t speak with Kislyak at the reception. She has shown herself to be a highly unreliable narrator.

McCaskill’s plea is itself — how to put it? — disingenuous. She could easily have qualified her flat denial that she had ever met or spoken with Kislyak in subsequent tweets. The compleat Claire is looking like the compleat liar in service of the party line, so to speak.


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