CNN’s Don Lemon took on the unenviable — and apparently impossible — task of trying to wrench a truthful comment out of Debbie Wasserman Schultz last night. Lemon played DWS audio of her comments about Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren, which contradicted her claim that the Washington Examiner’s Phil Klein misquoted her. Even faced with her own recorded words, DWS continued to insist that Klein misquoted her:
CNN’s Don Lemon: You accused the reporter of misquoting you, you said you didn’t say it. But then in the clip, you said it. And then you said ‘I categorically deny saying it’ — but there it is. How do you respond to that?
Debbie Wasserman Schultz: So Don, if you look at what the Examiner — which is a conservative blog site, so it’s not surprising that they would deliberately misquote me — and I’ll reiterate that they did deliberately misquote me. First, they took only the first line of what i said, and then they cut it off. And so you haven’t played the rest of what I said. And what they did was, they reported that I said that Republican policies were dangerous for Israel, and actually that’s what Ambassador Oren commented on. I never said that Republican policies are bad for Israel.
In fact, Klein never reported that DWS claimed Oren said Republican policies were dangerous for Israel.
The article never even mentioned the word “policy,” and the lede made it clear that DWS was talking about GOP criticism of Israel:
Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz claimed on Monday that Israel’s ambassador to the United States has accused Republicans of being “dangerous” to Israel by criticizing President Obama’s record.
At the Examiner, Klein responds to DWS’s misstatements about his reporting. Journalists may not be able to get DWS to admit to any inaccurate statements — clearly Lemon gave it a solid try — but how can the media trust anything she says after watching her deny the truth so casually and so often?
UPDATE: Lemon had Klein on last night to answer DWS’s charges in person (video via Mediate):