After the reams of bad press the Republican National Committee's gotten for covering millions in legal bills for anti-democratic felons, Ed Gillespie, the RNC's former chair, is attempting to fall on his sword and take the blame.
But he keeps missing.
The more he tries to explain that he alone is to blame for the decision, the more it becomes apparent that he had at least tacit approval from the White House.
Here's his latest
The former chairman of the Republican National Committee remembers telling someone at the White House that he had decided to have the RNC pay the legal defense bills for convicted phone-jamming conspirator James Tobin, but he canât remember who.
Ed Gillespie told the New Hampshire Union Leader yesterday he informed the White House after he decided to authorize payment.
The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that Gillespie told its reporter that he had âinformed the White House, without seeking formal approval, before authorizing the payments.â
Gillespie told the Union Leader the two accounts were âconsistentâ because he decided to authorize the payments before telling the White House and actually authorized the payments after telling the White House....
Gillespie yesterday told the Union Leader he could not remember who at the White House he informed of his decision to pick up Tobinâs legal bills.
âIâm not going to guess,â he said. âIt was years ago, but as a matter of routine, I would have told somebody over there.â
If someone at the White House had expressed displeasure with his decision, Gillespie said, âIt was too late. I had made the decision and they were not involved in it.â [Emphasis added.]
So here's the whole story as Gillespie tells it. He made an arbitrary decision that the RNC would cover Tobin's legal bills. Why? Because
"it's the custom, not written anywhere, that you covered your people." - (N.B. according to Ken Mehlman, the RNC has since revoked this honorable, unwritten custom: "consulting contracts now explicitly declare that independent contractors must be prepared to pay their own legal costs in civil and criminal cases.") Having made that decision, he then informed someone at the White House, he can't remember who, that he was going to abide by this unwritten rule. But this was just a heads up, a courtesy, not a dialogue. It was non-negotiable.
Sound funny to you?