|John Weaver, the former McCain aide at the center of the war between the Senator and the New York Times, called in to MSNBC to deny that he was one of the Times' anonymous sources, and saying flatly that everything he told the paper, he told them on the record, adding that after he spoke to the reporters, he told the McCain campaign what he had said.
Interesting development, given Weaver's statements that he intervened to separate McCain from the lobbyist Vicki Iseman, and McCain's insistence that no one intervened with him:
Asked if he ever had a romantic relationship with the woman, Vicki Iseman, 40, Mr. McCain, 71, responded, “No.” He described his relationship with Ms. Iseman as “friends” and said he had last seen her “several months ago” at an event.
Mr. McCain said he knew nothing about an account in The Times from John Weaver, a former top strategist and now an informal campaign adviser, who told the newspaper that he met with Ms. Iseman at Union Station and told her to stay away from the senator. “I don’t know anything about it,” Mr. McCain said. “Since it was in The New York Times, I don’t take it at face value.”
Mr. McCain also said he knew nothing about confrontations the newspaper described between Mr. McCain and staff members who were worried that the senator’s relationship with Ms. Iseman would jeopardize his career. “I don’t know if it happened at their level, it certainly didn’t happen to me,” Mr. McCain said.
Those McCain denials will now become the subject of furious reporting over at Bill Keller's shop, to be sure. It's not just John McCain's reputation that's at stake...
The Times is hitting back this morning, telling NBC News that no one has challenged their facts thus far, and reinforcing that their policy on anonymous sources is to only give them anonymity if they have direct, verifiable information.
This one is definitely developing ...
Labels: 2008 election, John McCain, presidential candidates, Vicki Iseman