Cindy McCain claim of stopping case of child trafficking proven wrong

/ CBS News

Phoenix — A claim by Cindy McCain that she had stopped a human trafficking incident at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport was shown to be false Wednesday by CBS Phoenix affiliate KPHO-TV.

McCain, widow of Sen John McCain, made the assertion in an interview on Glendale, Arizona radio station KTAR.

"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 said. "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."

McCain went on to say she discovered the woman was waiting for the man who had bought the child to arrive from his flight.

Phoenix police told KPHO that while officers did respond to the Jan. 30 call, at McCain's request, they were able to determine "there was no evidence of criminal conduct or child endangerment."

KPHO reached out to McCain for a statement Wednesday afternoon, but got no immediate response.

She has since tweeted about the incident:

At Phoenix Sky Harbor, I reported an incident that I thought was trafficking. I commend 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”

— Cindy McCain (@cindymccain) February 7, 2019

The McCain Institute has several partnerships and programs in place for combatting human trafficking.

First published on February 7, 2019

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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