Fox's Kilmeade follows AP in misrepresenting Obama's words on IL Senate seat

››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN & GREG LEWIS

Fox News' Brian Kilmeade echoed a false assertion made in a December 11 AP article by claiming that President-elect Barack Obama said, "I'm confident nobody on my staff talked on my behalf when it comes to filling my seat." The AP had reported falsely that "President-elect Barack Obama said Thursday he didn't discuss his vacant Senate seat with disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich and said he's confident nobody on his staff did either." In fact, during a December 11 press conference, Obama did not claim that nobody on his staff "talked on his behalf" to Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich; rather, he stated, "I'm confident that no representatives of mine would have any part of any deals related to this seat."

During the December 15 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends First, while discussing President-elect Barack Obama's response to the criminal allegations against Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D), co-host Brian Kilmeade claimed that Obama said, "I'm confident nobody on my staff talked on my behalf when it comes to filling my seat." Kilmeade's assertion echoed a false claim made in a December 11 Associated Press article, which reported, "President-elect Barack Obama said Thursday he didn't discuss his vacant Senate seat with disgraced Gov. Rod Blagojevich and said he's confident nobody on his staff did either." In fact, during a December 11 press conference, Obama did not claim that nobody on his staff "talked on his behalf" to Blagojevich; rather, he stated, "I'm confident that no representatives of mine would have any part of any deals related to this seat," as Washington Monthly blogger Steve Benen noted.

Indeed, the AP reported in a subsequent version of the article, "President-elect Barack Obama declared Thursday he was 'absolutely certain' his staff members engaged in no dealmaking concerning the filling of his former Senate seat, and he announced an investigation into whether they had contacts with anyone on the subject."

From Obama's December 11 press conference:

Now, I'm also aware of your interest in the matter of the Illinois Senate appointment. Let me say that I was as appalled and disappointed as anybody by the revelations earlier this week.

I have never spoken to the governor on this subject. I'm confident that no representatives of mine would have any part of any deals related to this seat. I think the materials released by the U.S. attorney reflect that fact.

I've asked my team to gather the facts of any contacts with the governor's office about this vacancy so that we can share them with you over the next few days.

From the December 15 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends First:

STEVE DOOCY (co-host): When it comes to Rahm Emanuel, he did talk to aides, apparently, according to this Wall Street Journal today -- item. He didn't talk directly to the governor. But, you know, Obama's got an interest in who takes his spot.

ANN COULTER (Fox News contributor): No, that's the strange thing. And that's what I mean about this be -- making -- being so difficult to talk about. I mean, I think most people --

DOOCY: There's some big gaps.

COULTER: -- would be surprised if he wasn't talking --

DOOCY: Yeah.

COULTER: -- to Blagojevich's people about this. But then why did they deny it? I mean, this --

KILMEADE: Right, he says I'm confident nobody on my --

COULTER: -- there's already so much more than Nixon did.

KILMEADE: Yeah -- yeah, "I'm confident nobody on my staff talked on my behalf when it comes to filling my seat."

COULTER: Right. And please note the difference in the standards for what's going on in this scandal and, "Oh, well, of course they said that," and, "Oh, he's just huffing and puffing -- no crime here." And -- and imagine it were Richard Nixon saying these things.

Posted In
Government, Ethics
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Ann Coulter, Brian Kilmeade
Show/Publication
FOX & Friends
Stories/Interests
Attacks on Barack Obama, Propaganda/Noise Machine
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