The opinions of the author do not necessarily reflect the views of The Jewish Examiner
Do you ever wonder why it is that there may have been “bad blood” between President Donald Trump and the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)? Forget the obvious answer. There is another reason you may not know about.
McCain’s “shot” heard ‘round the nation.
The obvious answer would be because it was McCain who gave Trump, Congressional GOP and the American public a resounding defeat when it came to repealing Obamacare.
No one will ever forget McCain’s early morning thumbs down that killed a sure victory for the GOP in its quest to defeat Obamacare.
That was bad enough but perhaps there is also another reason why Trump and McCain didn’t have the best working relationship and one that many seem to forget or have never considered.
McCain’s part in the Steele dossier that impacted Trump’s campaign.
It has to do with the controversial Christopher Steele dossier, the same dossier reportedly that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) paid Fusion GPS through attorney, Marc Elias of the law firm, Perkins Coie for the purpose of producing some “dirt” on the Trump campaign.
Fusion in turn hired the former British spy, Steele to help gather the information and write the dossier.
It was later discovered that the FBI also reached a deal with Steele to continue his research on the Trump campaign.
Obviously, Trump has never been happy with the knowledge of what the Clinton campaign, DNC, Fusion GPS, Steele and others in the FBI have been accused of doing to thwart his presidency.
But there is another person who also attempted to assist in stopping Trump from becoming president and that was McCain.
Who is Rick Davis and what does he have to do with this?
As you may recall, it was McCain who sent his aide, Rick Davis to meet with a billionaire Russian, Oleg Deripaska, the same man who met with Donald Trump, Jr. in the now famous Trump Tower meeting.
Davis was also McCain’s campaign manager in 2000 and 2008,
And, it was Davis who brought the Steele dossier to McCain. McCain then turned it over to the FBI, believing he had given them vital information to end Trump’s presidential campaign hopes.
However, McCain didn’t know that the FBI was already in possession of the document.
McCain could have helped Trump but chose not to do so.
What is also interesting and no doubt frustrating to Trump is that when McCain was running for president he had conversations with 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 dominate the “everything Russia” controversy with Trump in the Mueller investigation.
And yet, having knowledge of all of this information, we see no evidence of McCain attempting to warn Trump (a fellow Republican) about potential issues with them.
Davis helped set up the meetings with the controversial Russian figures when he was McCain’s campaign manager.
In addition, Davis was also working for a lobbying firm (Davis Manafort) and seeking to do business with the billionaire at the same time.
And, in case you are wondering, the “Manafort” in the Davis Manafort lobbying firm is none other than convicted former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who briefly worked for Trump.
Circa reported the following last year about the Davis Manafort firm:
“During the 2008 campaign, the Davis Manafort firm disclosed through its U.S. partner Daniel J. Edelman Inc., that it was working for the political party in Ukraine supporting Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, who was backed by Putin.
“Davis Manafort International LLC is directed by a foreign political party, the Ukraine Parties of Regions, to consult on the political campaign in Ukraine,” the January 2008 Foreign Agent Registration Act filing showed.
The work included developing “a communications campaign to increase Prime Minister Yanukovych’s visibility in the U.S. and Europe,” the report added, indicating that Davis and Manafort were being paid a $35,000 a month retainer for the work that began in spring 2007.”
Did McCain help Davis get a pass unlike Manafort?
To be clear, Davis and Manafort worked in the Davis Manafort lobbying firm but as far as we know Mueller has never called on Davis to discuss his connections with Manafort and whether he was ever involved in any fraudulent deals with Manafort.
However, Mueller did contact Manafort’s former partner Rick Gates and struck a deal with him in return for his testimony against Manafort.
Why did Davis get a pass? Did McCain help Davis by appearing to assist the FBI against Trump when McCain offered them the Steele dossier?
Residual damage remains.
While McCain may be gone, the harm that has been caused to the Trump presidency remains.
The Mueller investigation continues to focus on Trump and almost anyone and everyone who was ever connected to him.
That is unless you are a Democrat or someone like McCain who appeared to reach across the aisle as often as he could to help Democrats defeat the goals set by the GOP.
No wonder Trump was frustrated by McCain’s actions and why they were often at odds.