My phone rang yesterday evening, and it was everybody's favorite spiritual adviser to the scum of the earth, Mr. K.A. Paul!
"My people told me that I shouldn't talk to you. I was told after they did research on you you're a small reporter and you did negative things," said Paul, who claims to have spent hours talking with some of the greatest despots of the last two decades. "I said, 'I don't care, I'm going to call him.'"
"I made a commitment to you," said Paul, recalling our earlier conversation. "You want to write bad about me, go ahead. But there is a Judgment Day," he observed, with a note of warning in his voice. "I have to keep my word."
In our conversation, Paul explained that House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) isn't the first Republican to give him a nice chunk of face-time. He said that when they were in power, he had "extensive," "3-hour" sit-downs with GOP heavyweights Tom DeLay, Dick Armey and Newt Gingrich. He also had a two-and-a-half hour meeting with Bob and Elizabeth Dole, he said. Others:
George W. Bush: "I met him on several occasions," Paul told me, including in Des Moines, Iowa, and at Bush's church in Austin, Tex. "I prayed with him," he said. "I appreciated it when in 2000 president Bush got on his knees and prayed with me," recalled Paul. "What I don't appreciate is his 2004 speech, 'I have political capital, and I'm going to spend it.'. . . . If you are humble, sincere and honest, God will bless you," Paul cautioned. "If not, it doesn't matter who you are, you will be defeated."
Condolleezza Rice: Rice "called me on July 24, 2003. . . I asked, 'President Bush, why is he not calling me?' They said, 'No, he's in the room.'" (More details about the conversation, he said, were available in his new book.)
Bill O'Reilly: "I've been on his show a dozen times since 1999," said Paul, who called O'Reilly "my good friend." "[He] says he's fair and balanced, but he's not!"
As for Dennis Hastert, he said he met him first "in a casual way" when he was speaking at "a prayer breakfast dinner" in Washington, D.C. in 1997. He also met him at a Promise Keepers rally in 1997 in Washington, D.C.
Paul said that in the past day he'd received calls from Larry King Live, the CBS Morning News and dozens of other outlets. "I need to spend more time with the media!" he exclaimed, as if chastising himself for forgetting to do so. He didn't mention that shortly after his Tuesday meeting with Hastert, his assistant had sent a barrage of emails to media outlets featuring the original AP story of Paul's visit to Hastert, along with Paul's cell phone number.