In Gaffe, McCain Says Iran Backing al-Qaeda
On the campaign trail, Senator John McCain was caught in a major blunder Tuesday when he falsely insisted Iran is training and supplying al-Qaeda in Iraq. McCain corrected himself only after his colleague, independent Senator Joseph Lieberman, stepped in and whispered into his ear.
Sen. John McCain: “Well, it’s common knowledge and has been reported in the media that al-Qaeda is going back into Iran and receiving training and are coming back into Iraq from Iran. That’s well known. And it’s unfortunate. So I believe that we are succeeding in Iraq. The situation is dramatically improved. But I also want to emphasize time and again al-Qaeda is on the run, but they are not defeated.”
Sen. Joseph Lieberman: [whispering] “You said that the Iranians were training al-Qaeda. I think you meant they’re training in extremist terrorism."
McCain: “I’m sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not al-Qaeda, not al-Qaeda. I’m sorry.”
McCain made the comments in Jordan, which he visited en route to Israel from a brief trip in Iraq.