John McCain: “As I said in 2001, I never considered leaving the Republican Party, period.”

Mark Salter: "“Never at any time. Never.” 

Lindsey Graham: "These are political-intrigue stories that have no basis in fact.”

John Weaver: "Idle gossip."

Marshall Wittman: No comment. 

Those are the hilariously unpersuasive denials from McCainville to an exceptionally detailed piece in The Hill about how close the Senator came to bolting the GOP in 2001. The real story is here.

--Christopher Orr