Trump hates a lot of people, but he has always had a special hatred for John McCain. Everyone was shocked when Trump’s opening salvo at the start of his campaign was to say that he did not think John McCain was a hero, and to denigrate his time as a POW.
Many people were puzzled by this. McCain wasn’t in the race, so why attack him? It did not make sense! And why attack him with respect to his service, which happened so long ago anyway? And, oh yeah, McCain was a Republican!
In some respects, the attack was effective. The insult got people talking and got Trump a lot of publicity. Trump was jealous of a true hero (maybe). Trump was trying to remake the Republican party in his image.
But the main reason Trump was insulting John McCain is because that’s what his handlers wanted.
John McCain is one of the senators most responsible for the Magnitsky Act.
The Magnitsky Act, formally known as the Russia and Moldova Jackson–Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012, is a bipartisan bill passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Obama in December 2012, intending to punish Russian officials responsible for the death of Russian tax accountant Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow prison in 2009.
How does it punish them? Via sanctions. Freezing assets, making stuff hard to move around. How did it come into being?
In 2009, Russian tax accountant Sergei Magnitsky died in a Moscow prison after investigating a $230 million fraud involving Russian tax officials. Magnitsky was accused of committing the fraud himself and detained. While in prison, Magnitsky developed gall stones, pancreatitis and calculous cholecystitis and was refused medical treatment for months. After almost a year of imprisonment, he was beaten to death while in custody. Bill Browder, a prominent American-born businessman and friend of Magnitsky, publicized the case and lobbied American officials to pass legislation sanctioning Russian individuals involved in corruption. Browder brought the case to Senators Benjamin Cardin and John McCain who proceeded to propose legislation
Notice the name John McCain in there. And it cost them a lot of money.
How did the Russians react?
In response to the adoption of the Magnitsky Act, the Russian government denied Americans adoption of Russian children, issued a list of US officials prohibited from entering Russia, and posthumously convicted Magnitsky as guilty.
That’s why the talk about adoption of Russian children is always code for talking about sanctions.
Oh, and the Magnitsky Act is one of the reasons Putin hates Hillary so much. As SoS up until February 1, 2013, she would have been key in working with our allies to implement those sanctions.
Trump’s attitude towards McCain is just evidence that he was Putin’s puppet on the first day of the campaign. His attitude today proves it still.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.