A Project Veritas video revealed that Democrat Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and her staff are concealing from voters her support for stricter gun control. Less than a month before the mid-term election, the undercover video recorded McCaskill speaking to a Project Veritas journalist that she is in favor of banning so-called bump stocks (devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire at nearly the rate of automatic weapons) and high-capacity magazines. 

Until now viewed as by some as a moderate on Second Aendment issues, McCaskill said on tape that she intends to vote in support of various gun control measures. Here follows a partial transcript:

MCCASKILL: “Well if we elect enough Democrats we’ll get some gun safety stuff done. They won’t let us vote on it, we’ve got 60 votes for a number of measures that would help with gun safety, but McConnell won’t let ’em come to the floor.”

JOURNALIST: “Like bump stocks, ARs and high capacity mags…?”

MCCASKILL: “Universal background checks, all of that… But if we have the kind of year I think we might have I think we could actually be in a position to get votes on this stuff on the floor and we’d get 60 [votes]…”

JOURNALIST: “So you would be on board with the bump stocks and… high capacity mags.”

MCCASKILL: “Of course! Of course!”

McCaskill’s campaign website does not mention this intention. James O’Keefe of Project Veritas Action said in response to the report, “This undercover report shows just how broken our political system has become. Senator McCaskill hides her true views from voters because she knows they won’t like them.” 

On video, McCaskill campaign staffer Rob Mills said that his candidate’s gun-controls views are not on display because Missouri “has a bunch of Republican voters.” Carson Pope -- another staffer for McCaskill -- told Project Veritas that while “a semi-automatic rifle ban is more so what she would support,” Missouri voters “just can’t know that.” Mills said that McCaskill has concealed her support of Moms Demand Action, a gun control group, and other similar organizations because they would “…hurt her ability to get elected.” Here follows a partial transcript:

MILLS: “But she doesn’t openly go out and support groups like ‘Mom’s Demand Action’ or just like other groups that are related to that. Because that could hurt, her ability to get elected. Because people like see that and they’re like well I don’t want to support her even though they stand for the same policies…”

MILLS: “She’s worked out stuff with Mom’s Demand Action to make sure that she can support their goals without supporting the organization openly. And you know, Mom’s Demand Action does the exact same thing. Like a lot of our volunteers are actually from there. She’s really good about strategy and making sure she has a goal and can get there.”

Nicolas Starost, another individual who works on Senator McCaskill’s campaign, explains how President Obama won’t campaign for Senator McCaskill in Missouri despite their similar views on politics. Starost says this is because Senator McCaskill needs to distance herself from the Democratic party to appeal to more voters:

STAROST: “Because of how like, cause he’s a very liberal candidate. And like… Claire distancing herself from the party is gonna help her win more votes than it will saying like: “Oh here’s Obama, the former President of the United States, to now speak on my behalf.” Which is unfortunate because I love Obama to pieces, and I’d love to see him come here.”

JOURNALIST: “And they essentially have the same views on everything?”

STAROST: “Yeah. People just can’t know that.”

According to the Real Clear Politics averaging of polls, Republican candidate Josh Hawley is leading McCaskill by less than one percentage point. Currently, the average stands at 46 percent to 45.6 percent, respectively. RCP rates the race as one of the closerst in the country. Donald Trump won Missouri by 20 points in 2016. 

 

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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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