Phoenix Police dispute Cindy McCain’s claim that she thwarted human trafficking attempt

Police in Phoenix have disputed Cindy McCain’s claim that she thwarted a human trafficking attempt at Sky Harbor International Airport.

McCain, widow of the late Republican Sen. John McCain and an anti-trafficking activist, told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Monday that she witnessed a child being trafficked at the Phoenix airport last week.

“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 in the interview. “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.”

The woman, McCain added, was “waiting for the guy who bought the child to get off an airplane.”

Phoenix police refuted McCain’s allegation on Wednesday. Sgt. Armando Carbajal told KTAR that officers had conducted a welfare check on a child at the airport at McCain’s request but had found “no evidence of criminal conduct or child endangerment.”

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Cindy McCain lays wreath at Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington
Members of the McCain family watch joint service members of a military casket team carry the casket of Senator John McCain from the US Capitol to a motorcade that will ferry him to a funeral service at the National Cathedral in Washington, US. September 1, 2018. Jim lo Scalzo/POOL Via REUTERS�
U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, General John Kelly, White House Chief of Staff and Cindy McCain, wife of late Senator John McCain, arrive to lay a ceremonial wreath honoring all whose lives were lost during the Vietnam War at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, U.S., September 1, 2018. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert
U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, General John Kelly, White House Chief of Staff and Cindy McCain, wife of late Senator John McCain, lay a ceremonial wreath honoring all whose lives were lost during the Vietnam War at at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, U.S., September 1, 2018. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert
U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, General John Kelly, White House Chief of Staff and Cindy McCain, wife of late Senator John McCain, arrive to lay a ceremonial wreath honoring all whose lives were lost during the Vietnam War at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, U.S., September 1, 2018. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert
U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, General John Kelly, White House Chief of Staff and Cindy McCain, wife of late Senator John McCain, lay a ceremonial wreath honoring all whose lives were lost during the Vietnam War at at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, U.S., September 1, 2018. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert
Cindy McCain, wife of, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., lays a wreath at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, U.S. Sept. 1, 2018. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS
Cindy McCain, wife of, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., holds a tissue as she arrives to lay a wreath at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, U.S. Sept. 1, 2018. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS
Cindy McCain, wife of, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., lays a wreath at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, U.S. Sept. 1, 2018. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS
U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, General John Kelly, White House Chief of Staff and Cindy McCain, wife of late Senator John McCain, lay a ceremonial wreath honoring all whose lives were lost during the Vietnam War at at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, U.S., September 1, 2018. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert
Cindy McCain, wife of, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., accompanied by President Donald Trump's Chief of Staff John Kelly, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and family members, arrives at at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, U.S. Sept. 1, 2018. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS
Cindy McCain, wife of, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., accompanied by President Donald Trump's Chief of Staff John Kelly, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and family members, arrives at at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, U.S. Sept. 1, 2018. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS
General John Kelly, White House Chief of Staff, U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and Cindy McCain, wife of late Senator John McCain, lay a ceremonial wreath honoring all whose lives were lost during the Vietnam War at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, U.S., September 1, 2018. REUTERS/Mary F. Calvert
Cindy McCain, wife of, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., accompanied by President Donald Trump's Chief of Staff John Kelly, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, and family members, arrives at at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, U.S. Sept. 1, 2018. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS
Cindy McCain, wife of, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., accompanied by President Donald Trump's Chief of Staff John Kelly, left, and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, second from left, lays a wreath at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, U.S. Sept. 1, 2018. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS
Cindy McCain, wife of, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., accompanied by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, left, lays a wreath at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, U.S. Sept. 1, 2018. Andrew Harnik/Pool via REUTERS
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McCain, who is co-chair of the governor’s Arizona Human Trafficking Council and the McCain Institute’s Human Trafficking Advisory Council, later took to Twitter to apologize for the incident. 

“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,’” she wrote.

There are millions of victims of human trafficking worldwide, according to Polaris Project, an anti-trafficking nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. 

In the U.S., the number of victims is estimated in the hundreds of thousands ― a number Polaris data suggest is on the rise.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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