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John McCain promised Qaddafi US arms for Libya in 2009 meeting, leaked cable says

John McCain talked about sending US arms to Libya with both Muammar Qaddafi and one of his sons during a 2009 meeting that included three other US senators. Sen. John McCain is the ranking Republican member on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks at a town hall meeting, Tuesday, Aug. 23, in Goodyear, Ariz.

Ross D. Franklin/AP

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Arizona Sen. John McCain reportedly promised Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi US military assistance during a 2009 meeting outside Tripoli.

The information recently came to light through a leaked diplomatic cable, courtesy of the website WikiLeaks.

Three other US senators, Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut, joined McCain at the meeting.

According to the leaked cable, the four senators first met with Qaddafi's son Muatassim, who was acting as his country's national security adviser, and then with the Libyan leader himself.

“Sen. McCain assured Muatassim that the United States wanted to provide Libya with the equipment it needs for its … security,” according to the cable.

Last Friday, McCain spokesman Brian Rogers issued a statement, denying that Senator McCain ever gave assurances that the US would aid Libya militarily.

"At no point did Senator McCain ever promise to help the Qadhafi regime secure U.S. military assistance," Rogers said in the statement.


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