Too much hilarity!
Yesterday, Karl Rove protege and RNC chairman Ken Mehlman sent out an anti-Joe Wilson smear sheet in an effort to throw a lifeline to his mentor.
As we’ve now mentioned several times, one of his claims is that Wilson was caught lying when he claimed Cheney had sent him to Niger — something which, of course, he never said.
But look at one of the news clips Mehlman adduces as evidence …
Joe Wilson: âWhat They Did, What The Office Of The Vice President Did, And, In Fact, I Believe Now From Mr. Libbyâs Statement, It Was Probably The Vice President Himself …â (CNNâs âLate Edition,â 8/3/03)
So there it is. Wilson saying that it was the vice president himself.
Look at the actual transcript of the show Mehlman is referring to with the parts Mehlman chose to leave out in bold (we come into the interview with Wolf Blitzer talking to Wilson and about to play a tape of another interview with Condi Rice) …
BLITZER: I know you were sent to go on this mission long before the State of the Union Address. When Condoleezza Rice, the president’s national security adviser, was on this program a few weeks ago, on July 13th, I asked her about your mission. Listen to this exchange I had with her.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DR. CONDOLEEZZA RICE, NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER: I didn’t know Joe Wilson was going to Niger. And if you look in Director Tenet’s statement, it says that counter-proliferation experts, on their own initiative, sent Joe Wilson. So, I don’t know…
BLITZER: Who sent him?
RICE: Well, it was certainly not at a level that had anything to do with the White House.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BLITZER: Is that true?
WILSON: Well, look, it’s absolutely true that neither the vice president nor Dr. Rice nor even George Tenet knew that I was traveling to Niger.
What they did, what the office of the vice president did, and, in fact, I believe now from Mr. Libby’s statement, it was probably the vice president himself…
BLITZER: Scooter Libby is the chief of staff for the vice president.
WILSON: Scooter Libby.
They asked essentially that we follow up on this report — that the agency follow up on the report. So it was a question that went to the CIA briefer from the Office of the Vice President. The CIA, at the operational level, made a determination that the best way to answer this serious question was to send somebody out there who knew something about both the uranium business and those Niger officials that were in office at the time these reported documents were executed.
This is Mehlman’s evidence for his claim that <$NoAd$> “Wilson Falsely Claimed That It Was Vice President Cheney Who Sent Him To Niger.”
Any talking head going to call him on this?