Original Sestak Admission At Odds With White House Spin

Larry Kane, known as the "dean of Philadelphia television news anchors," has been covering Pennsylvania politics for more than 40 years.  During a February 18th interview he asked Congressman Joe Sestak to clarify a rumor he had been hearing for months.

"Were you ever offered a job to get out of this race?" Kane was referring to the Democratic Senate primary against Arlen Specter.

"Yes," Sestak answered.

"Was it Navy Secretary?"

"No comment," said Sestak.

According to Kane, Sestak talked about staying in the race but added that he "was called many times" to pull out.  Later, Kane asked: 

"So you were offered a job by someone in the White House?"


At the end of the taping, Sestak looked surprised and said, "You are the first person who ever asked me that question."  His response to Kane appeared spontaneous and unscripted.

Kane called the White House Press Office that afternoon and played the interview for a staffer, who promised that someone would call Kane back. A few minutes later, at 3:45 PM, another staffer called and said the White House would call back with a reaction "shortly."

Kane's station played the report aired all night.  At 6:45 the next morning, 15 hours later, a Deputy Press Secretary called and said, "You can say the White House says it's not true."

On the Friday before Memorial Day, 100 days later, a classic news dump day, the White House Counsel Robert Bauer issued his report.  He claimed that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel enlisted the support of Bill Clinton, "who agreed to raise with Congressman Sestak options of service on a Presidential or other Senior Executive Branch Advisory Board." 

Remember, when Kane asked a second time, "So you were offered a job by someone in the White House," Sestak did not equivocate.  He said nothing about an "uncompensated" advisory position or an offer by a White House liaison, he simply said, "Yes."

Someone's lying, and Scooter Libby went to jail for less.
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