McCain defends giving Comey dossier: ‘Duty demanded it’ and ‘I would do it again’

McCain defends giving Comey dossier: ‘Duty demanded it’ and ‘I would do it again’
Senator John McCain confirms in his book that he gave the Steele dossier to former FBI director James Comey. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

In his new book, The Restless Wave, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) confirms that he gave the Steele dossier to former FBI director James Comey.

An advanced copy of the book was released to The Daily Beast, who reported that McCain wrote, “I agreed to receive a copy of what is now referred to as ‘the dossier.’ I reviewed its contents. The allegations were disturbing, but I had no idea which if any were true. I could not independently verify any of it, and so I did what any American who cares about our nation’s security should have done.”

After receiving the dossier, McCain recalls that he put the document in his office safe and then called to request a meeting with James Comey, saying, “I went to see him at his earliest convenience, handed him the dossier, explained how it had come into my possession.”

“I said I didn’t know what to make of it, and I trusted the FBI would examine it carefully and investigate its claims. With that, I thanked the director and left. The entire meeting had probably not lasted more than ten minutes. I did what duty demanded I do.”

McCain, who has been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, says he now has more freedom to speak his mind. He further reiterated in another excerpt, “I discharged that obligation, and I would do it again. Anyone who doesn’t like it can go to hell.”

Senator McCain hasn’t held back in his criticism of President Trump, and dramatically killed last year’s attempt by Republicans to repeal Obamacare, saying at the time that he acted against the measure “Because it was the right vote.”

Animosity between President Trump and Senator McCain has gone on for years. In 2015, Trump said of McCain on the campaign trail, “He is a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured, okay? I hate to tell you. He is a war hero because he was captured. Okay, you have — perhaps he is a war hero.”

McCain has also reportedly made it clear that Trump is not welcome at his funeral.

In his book, McCain has his own choice words for Trump, saying of the President, “He has declined to distinguish the actions of our government from the crimes of despotic ones. The appearance of toughness, or a reality show facsimile of toughness, seems to matter more than any of our values.”