Did the White House Approve John McCain’s Trip to Syria? (UPDATED)


Josh Rogin, who broke this story, does not answer that question — indeed, he does not write one word in this article about whether the Obama administration knew about the trip beforehand, whether they had any conversation with Sen. McCain about it, or what their response to the trip is if they didn’t approve it.

What’s more, none of the other major media — CNN, ABC News, The Hill — that are “reporting” this story — in quotes because they’re not really reporting it, they’re just reporting that Josh Rogin at the Daily Beast reported it, and the articles are abbreviated paraphrased versions of Rogin’s piece — bothered to give us any reaction from the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, other than generic references to Obama’s opposition to supplying heavy arms or airstrikes, or establishing a no-fly zone.

I think this is extraordinary. Not knowing what the Obama administration thinks of McCain’s actions, whether they authorized it, knew about it beforehand, are angry about it or what, it’s difficult for me to know what to say or think about this news, except for that — what I think rather important — piece of information that is simply, glaringly, missing.

Update 05/28 (Matthew Elliot): Politico:

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) informed the White House ahead of time before traveling into Syria to meet with that country’s rebels, an administration official said Tuesday.

“The senator made the administration generally aware of his trip,” White House Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri said on MSNBC. “It’s something that now that it’s completed, we look forward to talking to him about the developments he saw on his trip.”

  • SteveHynd

    Good question, Kathy.

    Here’s another: were US troops involved in providing security?

    And another: did the Turkish govt. know about and approve the visit?

    And another: why didn’t he meet with the Syrian Opposition Coalition who are in Ankara just now (the US Ambassador met them y’day), instead choosing to meet with one set of military leaders?

  • kathykattenburg

    Thank you, Matt. It’s flattering to know that Politico reads my posts, isn’t it?

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