The Russians are not donating to John McCain’s campaign. Period.
On Sept. 29, Vitaly Churkin, Russia's ambassador to the United Nations, who resides on Manhattan's Upper East Side, received a fundraising letter from the Republican presidential nominee.
In it, the Arizona senator said:
"If I have learned anything in these past months of traveling across America, listening to the citizens of our great nation, it is this:
Victory will only come when we Republicans unite around our core principles of individual freedom, small government and unflagging dedication to defending our nation that I believe, you and I and most Americans hold in common. ... It is essential for all of us to join together and fight to win..."
"If I have the pleasure of serving you, I make you this promise: We will always put America -- her strength, her ideals, her future -- before every other consideration."
"Thank you for your support of our Party, and our country. I hope to hear from you soon."
On Oct. 20, the Russians issued a formal statement:
"We would like to reiterate that Russian officials, the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations or the Russian Government do not finance political activity in any foreign countries."
What's Russia's motive to make an issue of such a minor fumble? The current government does not like McCain.
McCain strongly backed Georgia during Russia's recent invasion. Churkin defended Moscow's invasion of Georgia, highlighted by several public verbal battles over the issue with U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad and his deputy, Alex Wolff.
Back in the 1970s, it was the same Churkin, then press attaché at the Soviet Embassy in Washington, who strongly defended the invasion of Afghanistan to a special congressional committee investigating the action.
McCain has also criticized Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, saying he looked into his eyes and saw "KGB" written in his eyes.
Brian Rogers of the McCain campaign admitted the error:
"It sounds like they might have been sent to the wrong place. ... We don't solicit contributions from people who can't make them."
Federal law prohibits foreign contributions to U.S. political campaigns.
No word yet whether the Russian has been contacted by the Obama campaign or by ACORN looking to sign up new voters.
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