A local Democratic official in Kentucky said that two leaders of the group Progress Kentucky recorded a behind-closed-doors meeting between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and campaign advisers, WFPL News reported Thursday.
Jacob Conway, who sits on the executive committee of the Jefferson County, Ky. Democratic Party, told WFPL that Shawn Reilly and Curtis Morrison of Progress Kentucky bragged to him about recording the meeting from outside the room where it was held.
The meeting was held Feb. 2 at the newly opened McConnell campaign headquarters at the Watterson Office Park in Louisville, Ky. following an open house event.
Conway said Reilly and Morrison told him that they did not attend the open house, but overheard the meeting from outside the room. According to WFPL, the door leading to the room where the meeting was held has a vent at the bottom and a large gap underneath, which is presumably how Reilly and Morrison recorded the meeting.
“They were in the hallway after the, I guess after the celebration and hoopla ended, apparently these people broke for lunch and had a strategy meeting, which is, in every campaign I’ve been affiliated with, makes perfect sense,” Conway told WFPL. “One of them held the elevator, the other one did the recording and they left. That was what they told to me from them directly.”
Conway continued, “Apparently the gentlemen overheard the conversation and decided to record it with a phone or recording device they had in their pocket. Could’ve been an iPhone, could’ve been a Flip camera or something like that.”
Mother Jones obtained the audio recordings and reported on them Tuesday. McConnell aides can be heard in the recordings discussing campaign tactics. In one clip, an aide discussed using actress Ashley Judd’s history of depression in next year’s campaign.
McConnell’s camp has alleged from the beginning that they were the victims of a Watergate-style bugging operation. The senator himself blamed the recording on the “political left.”
But according to WFPL, Reilly and Morrison may not have engaged in eavesdropping if the meeting was audible from the hallway.