Democrat senator Claire McCaskill's (Mo.) quickly disproved claim earlier this year that she had never met with Russia's ambassador has prompted her local opponents to brand her "Comrade Claire."
McCaskill opened the door for the criticism in March when she claimed she never had a call or meeting with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, even though she had previously announced she had both a call and a meeting with Kislyak. It was further reported last week that, in addition to the announced meetings, McCaskill attended a black-tie reception at Kislyak's house and used an undisclosed family foundation to donate to a group that Kislyak chairs.
McCaskill was asked during a town hall this week why she misled voters about her meetings with the ambassador, and then asked again as she left the town hall by members of the Missouri Republican Party, who carried "Comrade Claire" signs and waved Russian flags during the town hall.
"Senator McCaskill, do you care to comment on why you lied to Missourians about meeting with the Russian ambassador?" asked a member of the state party, who was ignored by McCaskill.
The sign quoted McCaskill's initial lie that she had "no call or meeting w/ Russian ambassador."
Other signs brought by the party read "Comrade Claire, I hope you enjoyed the caviar, Love Sergey," an apparent reference to the black-tie reception McCaskill attended at Kislyak's residence.
Missouri Republicans told the Washington Free Beacon they distributes flyers to town hall attendees highlighting McCaskill's inability to "get her stories straight," comparing that inability to two-time failed Democratic presidential candidate Hilary Clinton.
The group said its goal with the "Comrade Claire" project was to highlight McCaskill's general dishonesty.
"All of this ties into an even bigger picture that we hoped to raise questions about, which is that she hasn’t just been dishonest about contact with the Russian ambassador—she’s also dishonest about being a moderate," said Missouri GOP communications director Keelie Broom. "She cannot call herself a moderate if she voted with Barack Obama 93 percent of the time and Elizabeth Warren 86 percent."
McCaskill told Politico she thought the man who asked her about her meetings with Kislyak during the town hall was "convinced" to do so by Republicans.
McCaskill added that Russia is not an issue that people are focused on in Missouri. "Nobody, as I’m traveling around the state, is asking about [Russia] by the way, as it relates to President Trump either," McCaskill said.