During their final debate on KMBC-TV in Kansas City Thursday, moderator Kris Ketz asked Senate candidate Josh Hawley about the undercover video shot inside the Claire McCaskill campaign by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas crew, “Did your campaign have anything to with that video.”
“Absolutely not,” said Hawley with conviction. “And to accuse me of fraud, which is what Sen. McCaskill did, she said that I committed fraud, that I participated in a fraud, she said that on television. I just . . . ”
“I did not say that on television,” interrupted a barely audible McCaskill.
“It’s on KOLR 10,” Hawley shot back. “The video is widely available, and I’m sure it is being sent even now.” True to his word, the video was being sent to voters attached to the exchange above.
Trying to make the proverbial lemonade out of a video lemon, McCaskill did something in that interview with KOLR 10 she has historically not had to do. She lied. There is no nice way to describe her response.
Said McCaskill in a soft victim voice with the occasional Valley girl uptick on key words, “It is startling that Josh Hawley would be part of fraudulently embedding someone in my campaign.”
As McCaskill surely knew, Project Veritas works independently of any campaign or candidate. O’Keefe would never have asked for Hawley’s help because Hawley would not have provided it and O’Keefe did not need it.
“He is the attorney general of the state of Missouri he should be going after fraud, not participating in it,” McCaskill continued on her KOLR 10 interview.
McCaskill added,” I have been very up front about all my positions.” This is, of course, hogwash, but it’s classic political hogwash. It did not cross the line into slander as did her comments on Hawley.
A shrewd operator, Claire McCaskill blundered in implicating Josh Hawley in the Project Veritas sting. At time time, the Sentinel suggested Hawley should ask for an apology. He did even better by catching her on TV compounding a lie with a second lie.