Skip to comments.Andrea Mitchell: I 'Misspoke' on Plame ID
Posted on 11/10/2005 6:32:51 AM PST by Carl/NewsMax
NBC's senior diplomatic correspondent Andrea Mitchell is claiming that her comments have been deliberately distorted in reports covering a 2003 interview where she said Valerie Plame's identity had been "widely known" before her name appeared in a Robert Novak column.
"The fact is that I did not know did not know [Plame's identity] before the Novak column," she told radio host Don Imus on Thursday.
"I said it was widely known that an envoy had gone [to Niger]," she insisted. "I said we did not know who the envoy was until the Novak column."
But the actual exchange in question shows that Mitchell was questioned specifically about Plame's CIA employment, not her envoy husband.
"Do we have any idea how widely known it was in Washington that Joe Wilson's wife worked for the CIA?" she was asked by host Alan Murray in an Oct. 3, 2003 interview on CNBC's "Captial Report."
Mitchell replied: "It was widely known among those of us who cover the intelligence community and who were actively engaged in trying to track down who among the foreign service community was the envoy to Niger. So a number of us began to pick up on that."
Confronted with her comments Thursday morning, the top NBC reporter insisted: "[The quote] was out of context."
When pressed, a flustered-sounding Mitchell explained: "I - I - I said it was widely known that an envoy had gone - let me try to find the quote. But the fact is what I was trying to say in the rest of that sentence - I said we did not know who the envoy was until the Novak column."
Moments later, however, Mitchell changed her story, saying she was talking about both Plame and Wilson:
"I said that it was widely known that - here's the exact quote - I said that it was widely known that Wilson was an envoy and that his wife worked at the CIA. But I was talking about . . . after the Novak column."
"That was not clear," she finally confessed, before admitting, "I may have misspoken in October 2003 in that interview."
Her acknowledgment prompted Imus to remark: "It took me a minute to get that out of you."
Still, despite her admission, Mitchell blamed partisan "bloggers" for distorting her comments:
"We've got a whole new world of journalism out there where there are people writing blogs where they grab one thing and ignore everything else that I've written and said about this. And it supports their political view."
The full exchange went like this:
IMUS: Apparently on October 3, 2003, you said it was "widely known" that Joe Wilson's wife worked at the CIA.
MITCHELL: Well, that was out of context.
IMUS: Oh, it was?
MITCHELL: It was out of context.
IMUS: Isn't that always the case?
MITCHELL: Don't you hate it when that happens? The fact is that I did not know - did not know before - did not know before the Novak column. And it was very clear because I had interviewed Joe Wilson several times, including on "Meet the Press."
And in none of those interviews did any of this come up, on or off camera - I have to tell you. The fact is what I was trying to express was that it was widely known that there was an envoy that I was tasking my producers and my researchers and myself to find out who was this secret envoy.
I did not know. We only knew because of an article in the Washington Post by Walter Pincus, and it was followed by Nicholas Kristof, that someone had known in that period.
IMUS: So you didn't say it was "widely known" that his wife worked at the CIA?
MITCHELL: I - I - I said it was widely known that an envoy had gone - let me try to find the quote. But the fact is what I was trying to say in the rest of that sentence - I said we did not know who the envoy was until the Novak column.
IMUS: Did you mention that Wilson or his wife worked at the CIA?
IMUS: Did you mention . . .
MITCHELL: It was in a long interview on CNBC.
IMUS: No, I understand that. But at any point, in any context, did you say that it was either widely known, not known, or whether it was speculated that his wife worked at the CIA.
MITCHELL: I said that it was widely known that - here's the exact quote - I said that it was widely known that Wilson was an envoy and that his wife worked at the CIA. But I was talking about . . .
IMUS: OK, so you did say that. It took me a minute to get that out of you.
MITCHELL: No, I was talking about after the Novak column. And that was not clear. I may have misspoken in October 2003 in that interview.
IMUS: When was the Novak column?
MITCHELL: The Novak column was on the 14th, July 12th or 14th of '03.
IMUS: So this was well after that?
MITCHELL: Well after that. That's why the confusion. I was trying to express what I knew before the Novak column and there was some confusion in that one interview.
IMUS: Who'd you find it out from? Russert?
MITCHELL: I found it out from Novak.
IMUS: Maybe Russert's lying?
MITCHELL: You know Tim Russert doesn't lie.
IMUS: Which would break little Wyatt Imus's heart, by the way.
MITCHELL: Well, which has not happened. But this is (unintelligible). We've got a whole new world of journalism out there where there are people writing blogs where they grab one thing and ignore everything else that I've written and said about this. And it supports their political view. And . . .
The covering of tracks begins.
Serious CYA going on here...
There's a whole lotta misspeakin' goin' on out there.
I'm shocked! A liberal lying? To protect another lying liberal? Shocking!
So Wilson and Mitchell "misspeak" and Scooter Libby lies, is that about right?
Chubby Timmy has taken her to the woodshed apparently.
Excellent detective work, as usual. These democrat party media people are utterly deceitful.
I have no respect for journalists. They lie. They are lying liars. Creepy liars!
Check this out!
Put her on a bycycle backwards and she could beat Lance Armstrong.
Andrea and her hubby should retire to Aruba.
I wonder if she's being strong armed.
She's full of shiite.
put under oath and in jail for misspeaking like scooter.
So...was Mrs. Greenspan lying then, or is she lying now...or both?
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