Weve got a report


We’ve got a report from on the scene at yesterday’s Ueland-Katz smackdown in the senate.

This is from a reporter who was present when the events unfolded …

Frist took questions for about 10 minutes on the Senate floor before the start of the day’s session. Katz had one of the first questions, asking Frist about comments he made on Fox News Sunday that he had no idea what was in his trust. Frist looked irritated but answered generally, saying that even though Senate rules require him to provide the Ethics Committee letters about his trust, he “doesn’t read them.” There were a couple of attempts at followup questions but Frist then said he wouldn’t take any more questions about his stock. He then went on to other issues. As we left the floor, Eric Ueland started berating Katz in a loud voice while still in the Senate chamber. It continued just outside the chamber, as Roll Call reported. At one point Washington Post reporter Chuck Babington asked Ueland if he wouldn’t agree that “the issue was confusing.” Even before Babington could finish his question, Ueland turned to him and in the same loud voice accused him of not understanding what was a very simple issue. Frist’s Communications Director, Bob Stevenson, standing with Ueland, tried to calm things down a bit, saying he would be willing to sit down with any reporters interested to explain the issue again. Ueland went back to yelling at Katz, who stood his ground but remained respectful of Ueland. The confrontation lasted longer than did Frist’s briefing—and didn’t serve Frist well since it obviously drew more media attention to the HCA matter.

More muck to rake.