Cindy McCain Apologizes After Falsely Accusing Woman of Child Trafficking

Cindy McCain.
Cindy McCain. Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

After falsely accusing a woman of trafficking a child in a Phoenix airport, Cindy McCain has issued an apology — not for the incorrect assumption, but for distracting from “if you see something, say something.”

On Monday, McCain, widow of the late Republican senator John McCain, proudly recounted her experience on KTAR News 92.3 FM: As she was passing through Sky Harbor International Airport on her way home from a trip last week, she says she spotted a woman and toddler of different ethnicities. McCain, who serves on the McCain Institute’s Human Trafficking Advisory Council, then crafted the narrative that the woman was “waiting for the guy who bought the child to get off an airplane,” which compelled her to locate the nearest authorities and report the woman for child trafficking. In the telling of her story, McCain clearly appeared to believe she had been in the right — an attitude that shocked the radio-show hosts.

“I came in from a trip I’d been on and I spotted — it looked odd — it was a woman of a different ethnicity than the child, this little toddler she had, and something didn’t click with me,” McCain told KTAR. “I went over to the police and told them what I saw, and they went over and questioned her, and, by God, she was trafficking that kid.”

But as it turns out, that’s not what really happened. On Wednesday, Sergeant Armando Carbajal clarified on KTAR “officers determined there was no evidence of criminal conduct or child endangerment” during McCain’s requested welfare check of the child. Following Carbajal’s elucidation of the incident, McCain issued a non-apology apology on Twitter, which she started off by commending “the police officers for their diligence.”

“I apologize if anything else I have said on this matter distracts from ‘if you see something, say something,’” she concluded her statement.

Not the best way for the McCain Institute to mark the start of Human Trafficking Prevention and Awareness month!

Cindy McCain Apologizes After Accusing Woman of Trafficking