McCain Defends Decision To Give Comey The Dossier: It ‘Had To Be Investigated’

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., arrives on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 11, 2017, for the committee's confirmation hearing for Navy Secretary nominee Richard Spencer. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Jacquelyn Martin/AP

In his new book “The Restless Wave,” Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) confirmed and defended his decision to give the controversial Christopher Steele dossier to former FBI director James Comey, saying some of the allegations “had to be investigated” and that he “did what duty demanded.”

“I discharged that obligation, and I would do it again. Anyone who doesn’t like it can go to hell,” McCain wrote in his new book, according to an excerpt published in The Guardian Wednesday.

McCain said he agreed to read a copy of the dossier and found the allegations “disturbing,” but couldn’t verify it, so he put it in a safe in his office and called Comey to set up a meeting.

I went to see him at his earliest convenience, handed him the dossier, explained how it had come into my possession,” he wrote. “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 longer than ten minutes. I did what duty demanded I do.”

The dossier then went on to become the launching point for the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, both by congressional committees and a special counsel, which was appointed after President Trump fired Comey. The dossier includes several salacious claims about Trump’s behavior and interactions with Russian officials. Many of the claims have not been verified.

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