Newsmax's report by Doug Wead - "McCain Declines Graham Meeting" - created significant media buzz Monday.
The story reported that Brian Jacobs, who has consulted for the Rev. Billy Graham's organization and organized a meeting between Graham and George W. Bush during the 2000 election, had approached the McCain campaign about a meeting with Billy Graham.
The McCain camp sent Jacobs a letter saying the senator would not be able to meet with Graham.
The McCain camp responded by calling the Newsmax report "bogus," "totally not true" and "false." The campaign indicated it was already in contact with Graham's son Franklin to set up a meeting with his father.
A spokesman for McCain told CBN News, "The piece in Newsmax is false. Our campaign has been working directly with Reverend Franklin Graham's office to facilitate an important meeting between John McCain and Reverend Billy Graham."
But in statements released by Billy and Franklin Graham (See: "Billy Graham: No Contact with McCain Campaign"), both directly contradicted the McCain campaigns claims. Both Grahams indicated they had no discussion with the McCain campaign about a meeting with the elder Graham.
Franklin Graham's statement released to CBN News stated: "The offer to meet with Mr. Graham was extended by someone who is not in an official capacity to arrange such a meeting, nor is he affiliated with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. So far, Billy Graham's office has not been directly contacted about meeting with Sen. McCain.
"Franklin Graham did receive a message from one of Sen. McCain's staffers several months ago saying that they were reaching out to evangelical leaders and that if Franklin Graham would like to meet with McCain that would be welcomed. This was during the primaries and Franklin did not have any follow-up to that call.
But Franklin said he would now be willing to meet with McCain or Sen. Barack Obama.
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