McCain Insists No Wrongdoing on Boeing Deal

(CBS)

From CBS News' Andante Higgins:


John McCain spoke out on his involvement in the U.S. Air Force tanker deal recently awarded to the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company over American company Boeing. "I fought against that contract because I thought it was wrong and it ended up that two Boeing executives ended up in federal prison. It was a scandal of very large proportions." he said. "I had nothing to do with the contract except to insist in writing on several occasions as this process moved forward that it be fair and open and transparent. That was my involvement in it."

McCain has been under fire recently by Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and John Murtha, D-Pa., for his involvement in the deal. They blame him for the loss of the contract, and thus the loss of American jobs it would have created. "I was told that Boeing said that they would not have any layoffs," McCain said. "I've been told that there are thousands and thousands of jobs that would be created in the USA."

The Republican nominee is also planning a trip to the Middle East and Europe next week, starting with a visit to Israel. When asked if he'd get involved in the "nitty gritty" of the peace process there, McCain said he's already been involved with his many trips to the region, but only plans to be briefed on this trip. "I don't intend to intervene in any way with the process. I just don't think it's appropriate for me to do so," he said. "But I certainly will be brought up to date and made aware of the deterioration of the situation in the area, which is very dangerous to US vital national security interests in the region."

McCain will also go to Iraq and meet with NATO leaders about continuing the fight against the Taliban and al Qaeda. "As a ranking member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, I think it's important that I go to places where Americans are in harm's way," he said. "Whether it's in Iraq or Afghanistan or other places in the world where the US military has obligations."

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