February 21st, 2008
10:30 AM ET
15 years ago

Former McCain aide speaks out on Times report

(CNN) - Former McCain political adviser John Weaver confirms to CNN that he did approach lobbyist Vicki Iseman about eight years ago, during McCain’s first presidential run, and told her she was threatening to undermine the heart of McCain’s campaign – that he is a reformer.

Weaver says he arranged the meeting with Iseman - first reported by the New York Times - out of concern that she was “telling people around town” she was getting access to, and had influence with, McCain that Weaver says she did not have.

But Weaver insists he never talked to or asked Iseman about any romantic relationship with McCain because “there was no reason to.”

“My concern wasn’t about anything John had done, it was about her comments it was about access she claimed to have had,” Weaver told CNN. “I had no reason to question her about anything that is implied in the New York Times story.”

Weaver was McCain’s campaign manager until this past summer, when he left as part of a staff shakeup. But Weaver tells CNN he still talks to campaign officials on a daily basis and he still “loves John McCain.”

“I don’t have an axe to grind,” Weaver said.

Weaver also says he gave the New York Times only one response, via e-mail back in December, to a series of questions they had asked him. He adds that he told the campaign he had communicated with the Times.

Related: McCain denies inappropriate relationship with lobbyist

–CNN's Dana Bash

Filed under: John McCain
soundoff (180 Responses)
  1. niceoldguy

    Samantha, I am glad you read the whole NYT article, because so many bloggers obviously have not. But did you notice it is part of a series of "Long Run" articles about the character and backgound of the candidates, and its point is NOT that he an affair, but that he is often so convinced of his own integrity that he sometimes gets into trouble. That point is why it was not, as some say, an excuse to "rehash" the Keating 5" - and isn't rehash another word for history - but to give important examples of what the Times sees as a part of his character. The same series was also tough on Obama, and rehashed his youthful drug use, then said he probably made some of his drug use up to spice up the book.

    February 21, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  2. Lala

    Ben needs to do some research before he blames Obama for Mccains mess. Don't try to put this off on anyone but thge news paper who broke this story.

    February 21, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  3. Mark

    Well, so much for my NYT subscription... never again will I order, or read, that trash

    February 21, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  4. Don

    The New York Times motto: Don't let the facts get in the way of a good story

    February 21, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  5. Kusa

    Poor Ben, I guess you just have it in for Obama! What a outrageous statement! Obama will be blamed for everything if elected President.

    February 21, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
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