Aug 21, 2012 No Comments ›› Pat Dollard
Excerpted from The Daily Caller: Three different high-ranking Republican staffers on Capitol Hill have told The Daily Caller of a growing consensus that at least part of a Sunday article by Politico’s Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan was planted by Arizona Republican Rep. David Schweikert in order to damage his primary opponent, Rep. Ben Quayle.
Schweikert’s office denies the charge, but a campaign spokesperson would only say that the congressman never “gave” or “provided” the entire story to the Virginia-based news outlet. Quayle’s involvement in the saga, while embarrassing, was relatively minor.
The story itself contained significant inaccuracies pertaining to both an alleged FBI investigation and Quayle’s involvement in what became a one-day mini-scandal. Politico reported that several freshman GOP members of Congress on an official trip to Israel went on an alcohol-fueled swim in the Sea of Galilee.
The Politico story disclosed that Kansas Republican Rep. Kevin Yoder went skinny-dipping in the Sea of Galilee. Yoder has apologized.
Other GOP lawmakers and staffers, according to Politico, joined Yoder for the swim — among them Quayle, Florida Rep. Steve Southerland, New York Reps. Tom Reed and Michael Grimm, and California Rep. Jeff Denham. Politico reported that those details were confirmed by unnamed GOP sources.
Sherman and Bresnahan also charged that the FBI investigated the event. “The FBI looked into whether any inappropriate behavior occurred,” they wrote, ”but the interviews do not appear to have resulted in any formal allegations of wrongdoing.”
Sherman, Bresnahan and Politico drove the story Monday, getting higher- and higher-ranking politicians to comment on the incident, including Speaker of the House John Boehner, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney and Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul Ryan, all of whom criticized the congressmen involved. MSNBC featured the story on “Morning Joe,” where Mark Halperin slammed the GOP congressmen’s antics.