He said several times that Iran, a predominately Shiite country, was supplying the mostly Sunni militant group, al-Qaeda. In fact, officials have said they believe Iran is helping Shiite extremists in Iraq.This is hardly some trivial mistake. It's like accusing Pat Robertson of supporting NARAL. It shows a complete disconnect with what's going on in Iraq.
Speaking to reporters in Amman, the Jordanian capital, McCain said he and two Senate colleagues traveling with him continue to be concerned about Iranian operatives "taking al-Qaeda into Iran, training them and sending them back."
....A few moments later, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, standing just behind McCain, stepped forward and whispered in the presidential candidate's ear. McCain then said: "I'm sorry, the Iranians are training extremists, not al-Qaeda."
Of course, even McCain's corrected version doesn't tell the whole story either. What he should have said is that the Iranians are training many of the same extremists that we're allied with too. But that might have provoked a whole different set of questions that McCain would just as soon not answer.