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Former John McCain aide says the late GOP senator 'lied to the American people' about his relationship with a lobbyist

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John McCain
The late Sen. John McCain of Arizona.REUTERS/Charles Mostoller
  • One of John McCain's former top aides alleged the late GOP senator lied about his relationship with a lobbyist.

  • Steve Schmidt claimed he lied on the Senator's behalf to discredit a New York Times article.

  • "For 14 years I have remained silent because I didn't want to do anything to compromise John McCain's honor," Schmidt said.

One of John McCain's former top aides said Sunday that he lied to discredit a New York Times article that reported on McCain's close relationship with a lobbyist.

In an essay posted to Substack on Sunday, Steve Schmidt — the senior strategist for McCain's 2008 presidential campaign — said "John McCain's lie became mine."

Schmidt said he knew about McCain's close relationship with the lobbyist and lied to protect the reputations of McCain and his family.

The New York Times reported in 2008 that lobbyist Vicki Iseman was receiving special treatment from the GOP presidential candidate, and shared speculation from some that their relationship may have turned romantic.

Both John McCain and his wife, Cindy, denied the accusations of a relationship at a press conference.

"Immediately following the story's publication, John and Cindy McCain both lied to the American people at a news conference that I prepared them for on that same day," Schmidt wrote.

Schmidt said that after the article came out — which he said "accurately detailed that relationship" — McCain told him the truth about the relationship backstage at an event in Ohio.

"For 14 years I have remained silent because I didn't want to do anything to compromise John McCain's honor," Schmidt said after apologizing to the Times journalists who wrote the story.

He said that McCain's daughter, Meghan McCain, "abused and bullied" him to stay silent in the last 14 years.

"The truth is the only remedy that I know to make Meghan's abuse stop," he said. "The truth requires that – at long last – I speak out. It is not a story that I relish telling, but I must because my continued silence stipulates the validity of untrue allegations and petty slanders."

Representatives for Meghan McCain said she declined to comment on the post, as she "hasn't spoken to [Schmidt] in 14 years."

Of McCain's legacy, Schmidt concluded: "It is time to look up and out. It is time to look for new leaders. It is time to move on."

Read the original article on Business Insider