McDaniel Campaign Contradicts Itself On Blogger Break-In

By Saturday evening, the timeline of events around when Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) and his campaign were made aware of a blogger breaking into the nursing home where the wife of Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) lives haven’t gotten any clearer.

McDaniel’s campaign manager, Mississippi state Sen. Melanie Sojourner (R), reportedly called the Cochran campaign Saturday morning to express outrage that blogger Clayton Thomas Kelly broke into the nursing home to photograph Cochran’s wife, Rose.

The call reportedly happened on Saturday morning at 7:45 a.m. ET. That is before the Cochran connection was made public by the Clarion-Ledger of Mississippi. A Republican aide who listened to the voicemail Sojourner left for Cochran campaign manager Kirk Simms told The Hill that Sojourner said she found out about the break-in on Friday. According to The Hill, Sojourner said she and McDaniel himself strongly disapproved of Kelly’s actions.

The problem is, as the Clarion-Ledger notes, that contradicts other statements by the McDaniel campaign about when they found out about the break-in. When The Hill caught up with McDaniel himself on Saturday morning, about an hour after the Clarion-Ledger published its initial report, McDaniel said he had not heard about Kelly’s arrest.

The Clarion-Ledger also contacted McDaniel campaign communications director Noel Fritsch early Saturday morning about the arrest. Fritsch, in that interview, told the newspaper he did not know anything about the arrest.

Later Saturday, the McDaniel campaign said in a statement that it first learned about the arrest late Friday night.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Livewire
Comments
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Reporters:
Newswriters:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Publisher:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: