Rove Denies Allegations Made by Dana Jill Simpson Sunday on CBS' 60 Minutes, Claims 'I Don't Think I Ever Met the Woman'
RELATED: Previous Exclusive BRAD BLOG Encounters with Rove...
By Alan Breslauer on 2/26/2008, 3:19am PT  

Guest Blogged by Alan Breslauer

I got a chance to meet Karl Rove before he spoke at the Gibson Amphitheater in Los Angeles last night. Here's the awkward video (33 seconds, below left) of my brief encounter, which was followed by a Q&A with Rove, in which he denied recent charges made against him by a Republican operative in Alabama concerning the prosecution of Alabama's former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman...

Later, Rove was confronted with a question about Sunday's 60 Minutes report which included a Republican operative claiming Rove had asked her to perform dirty tricks in order to damage Siegelman's chances for re-election. Siegelman would later be convicted and sent immediately to prison, without a traditional stay pending appeal, for a crime which the operative, as well as AL's former Republican Attorney General claims was a setup and an abuse of power by Rove and the U.S. Attorneys who prosecuted the case.

The audio of Rove's answer to the question about the 60 Minutes report, in which he claims "the woman lied" about the charges, is available above right (2:37).

Rove responded to the allegations by saying: "The fact of the matter is that I never met with this woman. I never made this request of her or anybody else. If she was a political operative she wasn’t involved in any of the campaigns that I was involved in in Alabama. I’ve never met the woman."

"I mean, I, I, the woman lied," Rove continued. "I don’t think I’ve ever met the woman. I know I’ve never taken a meeting with her."

The transcript of the specific Q&A on the matter follows below...

Question: It’s basically a widespread belief that when it comes to politics you play it rough. They have accused you of outing CIA agent Valerie Plame, planning the dismissals of US attorneys on political grounds, collusion with Jack Abramoff and most recently plotting the downfall of Don Siegelman. Do you play rough?

Rove: Ah, you know, in each one of those instances things have proven to be or turned out to be either non-existent or not true. But if there is no evidence for it, Rove is responsible. It’s like the 60 Minutes thing on Don Siegelman…

Question: Did you see it?

Rove: Yeah I did, you know, this woman says that she was a longtime Alabama operative and I asked her to get pictures of Governor Siegelman with - naked pictures of him with his aides - and, ah, that this is a number of requests I’ve made to her.

The fact of the matter is that I never met with this woman. I never made this request of her or anybody else. If she was a political operative she wasn’t involved in any of the campaigns that I was involved in in Alabama. I’ve never met the woman.

And I frankly thought it was really unusual, you know, there was CBS – this woman says she met with me in 2001 – I’m at the White House, where did we meet? You know, she was an opposition researcher, ah, who paid her? When did I start making these requests? I mean, I, I, the woman lied. I don’t think I’ve ever met the woman. I know I’ve never taken a meeting with her.

And yet the CBS – look, I’m a myth I’m not a human being. I may appear to be flesh and blood but I’m a myth.

Last night on Dan Abrams' MSNBC program (video posted here), Dana Jill Simpson, the Republican operative who made the claims, responded to Rove's allegations that she was lying: "Since Karl Rove has said that and he feels so good saying that, what I want him to do is go and swear before the United States Congress and swear what he's saying is true."

Simpson also countered the claim, by party officials, that she never worked for them, by alleging that phone records from 2002 and 2006 would show conversations with officials in both Alabama and D.C.

Rove has refused a subpoena to testify under oath to Congress on matters relating to this and the related U.S. Attorney Purge scandal, leading to a recommendation for Contempt of Congress charges by the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey recently testified to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee (video here) that the Dept. of Justice would refuse to enforce contempt citations against White House officials.

RELATED: Previous photographic BRAD BLOG exclusives with Karl Rove include a Memorial Day 2007 encounter in a D.C. convenience store, where the political operative was purchasing root beer, toilet paper and butter, and was instructed about "regime change here at home". Prior to that, we posted photos of Rove glad-handing pro-war supporters countering Cindy Sheehan in Crawford, TX in the Summer of 2005, at the same moment that Hurricane Katrina was devastating New Orleans.

An exclusive BRAD BLOG video encounter, recorded in Los Angeles last year by Breslauer, in which the DoJ's then chief of the Civil Rights Division voting section, John Tanner, claimed that minorities "don't grow elderly the way white people do, they die first," caused an enormous national outrage. The incident would eventually help lead to Tanner's resignation from the post.

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