"Milbank: ‘There Are Rumors About A Third [Page Scandal], This One Involving A 16-Year-Old Girl’"
Last night on MSNBC, Washington Post reporter Dana Milbank told Keith Olbermann that “there are rumors now about a third [page scandal], this one involving a 16-year-old girl.”
Milbank later noted that “political news is starting to sound more and more like you’re reading the police blotter, with Ney last week, the eighth guilty plea or conviction in the Abramoff case, piled on top of Scooter Libby and Tom DeLay and Curt Weldon. It goes on and on. And, of course, the punchline is that President Bush has declared this to be National Character Counts Week.” Watch it:
OLBERMANN: We know very little about these allegations, at least from Congressman Kildee’s remarks, and if it is Congressman Kolbe of Arizona, it’s important to stress we know nothing about the actual allegation yet, nor the investigation. But did the scandal, by dint of this one mention from Mr. Kildee, just get another set of legs?
MILBANK: Legs would be the least offensive body part. But, yes, we–Jim Kolbe is retiring, so it’s not necessarily a big deal about him. Already, there are rumors now about a third, this one involving a 16-year-old girl. That’s been swirling around Washington today.
The real effect here is not necessarily with Kolbe, but that it just compounds that we have another one. And political news is starting to sound more and more like you’re reading the police blotter, with Ney last week, the eighth guilty plea or conviction in the Abramoff case, piled on top of Scooter Libby and Tom DeLay and Curt Weldon. It goes on and on.
And, of course, the punchline is that President Bush has declared this to be National Character Counts Week.
OLBERMANN: Well, we’re going to count the number of people who have character.
Congressman Kildee had complained that he had been shut out by the Republican chairman of the page board when he had learned about Mark Foley’s conduct in the fall of 2005. Presumably, he testified to that before the House Ethics Committee. We–do we know more than the presumption? And do we know if they’re taking it as evidence of a coverup, or how they’re treating that testimony?
MILBANK: Well, it’s hard to know exactly what the Ethics Committee is doing. But clearly, the public has made its decision. There’s a poll out today saying 57 percent of the people believe that there was, in fact, a coverup, 77 percent saying it was handled badly.
Now, clearly, there was a coverup at some level, by definition, because it–people knew about this, certainly Shimkus and the page board knew about it, and it didn’t get out. The question really is, how far up it goes, and does it–how far into Denny Hastert’s office?