Yesterday, ThinkProgress laid out the case for why the source for the photos was likely Abramoff himself. Last night, our hunch was confirmed.
Appearing on MSNBC, Newsweek correspondent Michael Isikoff reported that it was indeed Abramoff who floated the photographs to Washingtonian. Watch the video:
Full transcript below:
ISIKOFF: As a general rule, if you’re the president … you don’t like pictures out there of you with convicted felons. It sounds like … there’s at least one picture of him with at least one convicted felon and another indicted, so it’s probably not a picture the White House is eager to have out there. The other interesting aspect of this is, while the White House hasn’t put these out, Jack Abramoff has clearly shown them to people. I don’t know anything about Time sources, but I do know that he showed them to Washingtonian magazine, which suggests he may be playing a little bit of a game here. He has, of course, pled guilty already to the Justice Department. But it does raise a question in my mind at least as to whether Abramoff is maybe sort of sending some sort of signal out here: “Hey, I’ve got this stuff.” Maybe he wants something from somebody at the White House, or he wants someone at the White House not to do something, and just sort of subtly playing with people here.
You heard it here first.