ABC's Tapper, Politico's Allen -- citing "juicy" issue for GOP -- didn't mention Pelosi's attempted meeting with Petraeus

››› ››› SIMON MALOY

In an April 24 ABCNews.com article, in what ABC characterized as "Breaking News," ABC News senior national correspondent Jake Tapper reported that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) "will not attend" an April 25 briefing on Capitol Hill with Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, but noted that a "Pelosi aide said the speaker on Tuesday requested a one-on-one meeting with Petraeus but that could not be worked out," and that Pelosi and Petraeus had spoken on the phone for 30 minutes. However, when Tapper reported on this matter on the April 25 broadcast of ABC's Good Morning America, he stated only that Pelosi "spoke to Petraeus on the phone for about half an hour yesterday and was briefed that way." Tapper made no mention of Pelosi's request for "a one-on-one meeting," as he had the previous day on the ABC News website.

Additionally, in the April 25 edition of his "Politico Playbook," Politico chief political correspondent Mike Allen cited Tapper's April 24 article in writing: "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has given the beleaguered Republicans an issue so juicy that GOP aides tell the Playbook they can't believe their good fortune." Allen wrote that Tapper quoted a "Democratic aide" saying that Pelosi "spoke with the general via phone today at some length." He did not mention Pelosi's reported request for a one-on-one meeting, nor did he note how long Pelosi's conversation with Petraeus lasted, as reported by Tapper. Allen went on to quote from several emails sent by congressional Republicans attacking Pelosi for not attending the Petraeus briefing.

From Tapper's April 24 ABCNews.com article:

As the House and Senate prepare to vote this week on the final conference report on the $124 billion troop funding bill -- which would also mandate that U.S. combat troops begin withdrawing from Iraq on Oct. 1 at the latest -- Gen. David Petraeus is scheduled to come to the Hill tomorrow to brief lawmakers on the progress of the recent troop escalation.

ABC News has learned, however, that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., will not attend the briefing.

"She can't make the briefing tomorrow," a Democratic aide told ABC News Tuesday evening. "But she spoke with the general via phone today at some length."

A Pelosi aide said the speaker on Tuesday requested a one-on-one meeting with Petraeus but that could not be worked out. He said their phone conversation lasted 30 minutes.

From the April 25 broadcast of ABC's Good Morning America:

TAPPER: Also on the Hill today, General David Petraeus, the commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, is here to brief lawmakers on the status of the troop escalation. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will not be attending the briefing. She spoke to Petraeus on the phone for about half an hour yesterday and was briefed that way. Petraeus will be making the case to lawmakers that they need to give the surge time to work.

From Allen's April 25 "Politico Playbook":

A 10 ON THE TALK-RADIO RICHTER SCALE: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has given the beleaguered Republicans an issue so juicy that GOP aides tell the Playbook they can't believe their good fortune. ABC's Jake Tapper broke the news last night, setting off a memorable after-hour scramble among House aides. "Pelosi Won't Attend Petraeus Briefing": "As the House and Senate prepare to vote this week on the final conference report on the $124 billion troop funding bill -- which would also mandate that U.S. combat troops begin withdrawing from Iraq on Oct. 1 at the latest -- Gen. David Petraeus is scheduled to come to the Hill tomorrow to brief lawmakers on the progress of the recent troop escalation. ABC News has learned, however, that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will not attend the briefing. 'She can't make the briefing tomorrow,' a Democratic aide told ABC News Tuesday evening. 'But she spoke with the general via phone today at some length.'" The Republican statements cascaded into reporters' "in" boxes: House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) called the decision "shameful." Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), chairman of the Republican Study Committee, called it an "insult" to "American servicemen and their mission." A top GOP aide said: "This will rally our base tremendously -- and we need rallying." A Democratic strategist close to Pelosi expressed exasperation with the Republicans: "Members who are briefed regularly tend to skip those because you're so up on things you learn more from leaks in the paper."

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