“We were informed that John McCain landed in Iraq Sunday morning,” Ali al-Moussawi, an official in the office of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, told the AP. “A meeting will take place with the Iraqi government.”
Sen. John McCain and the McCainettes (Sens. Lindsey Graham & Joe Lieberman) landed in Baghdad and are set to meet with deputy PM Barham Saleh, Gen. David Petraeus, and perhaps al-Maliki as well.
McCain’s trip abroad will also include visits in the UK with Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Stavros Dimas, the European Union’s commissioner for the environment; in Paris with President Nicolas Sarkozy; in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Likud leader Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu; and in Amman, with Jordanian King Abdullah.
McCain says his trip is as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, not as the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. But on Thursday, McCain will hold a fundraiser at Spencer House in London for Americans living abroad — $1,000-$2,300 per person. McCain joins a growing list of U.S. candidates shaking money trees abroad — Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have sent their spouses to the British Isles on such tasks, and Rudy Giuliani hopped across the pond for a similar fundraiser. (More on that HERE.)
Presumably, Sen. McCain will not repeat today the mistake from his 2007 trip when he went to a Baghdad market accompanied by a company’s worth of soldiers in armored Humvees and declared his shopping excursion to have been “safe.” McCain later said he misspoke.
On Friday at a town hall meeting outside Philly, McCain was asked if he thought insurgents in Iraq might flare up violence in the Fall to try to tip the scales of the election in favor of the Democratic candidate.
“Yes, I worry about it,” McCain said. “And I know they pay attention because of the intercepts we have of their communications.”