Instead of apologizing this morning, he launched a new attack against Plame, claiming that she had lied under oath when she testified on Friday about whether she recommended her husband be sent to Niger to investigate Iraq’s supposed nuclear ambitions.
Hume said Plame’s testimony “flies in the face of the evidence” adduced by the “bipartisan” Senate Intelligence Committee, which said that “she very much did have something to do with it, that she recommended him and that she put it in a memo.” Watch it:
Plame testified that she never suggested her husband for the Niger trip. “I did not recommend him, I did not suggest him, there was no nepotism involved — I didn’t have the authority,” she said.
Hume’s false claim originated from a statement attached to the Senate Intelligence Committee report on Iraq that was released in 2004. In an addendum to that report, Sens. Pat Roberts (R-KS), Christopher Bond (R-MO), and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) wrote definitively, “The plan to send the former ambassador to Niger was suggested by the former ambassador’s wife, a CIA employee.” The right-wing, including columnist Bob Novak, have taken the statement written by three Republican senators and falsely attributed it as the “unanimous” conclusion of the Senate report.
The three conservative senators based their claim on testimony by a CIA employee who appeared before the Senate Intel Committee. Plame revealed on Friday that the CIA employee later apologized to her “with tears in his eyes” because he said “his words had been twisted and distorted” by the senators. And in fact, the unnamed employee drafted a memo, asking that he be re-interviewed by the Senate to correct the record. His attempts to set the record straight were denied. On Friday, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) asked to retrieve a copy of that memo:
REP. VAN HOLLEN: So, just so I understand, Mr. Chairman, if I could — so, there was a memo written by the [Counterproliferation Division] officer, upon whose alleged testimony the Senate wrote its report that contradicts the conclusions –
MS. PLAME WILSON: Absolutely.
REP. VAN HOLLEN: — contradicts the conclusions from that report.
MS. PLAME WILSON: Yes, sir.
REP. VAN HOLLEN: Mr. Chairman, it seems to me that this committee should ask for that memo. And it bears directly on the credibility of the Senate report on this very, very important issue, which they’ve attempted to use to discredit Ambassador Wilson’s mission.
REP. WAXMAN: I think the gentleman makes an excellent point, and we will insist on getting that memo.
HUME: And the other thing that needs to be noted here is when she says that she had nothing to do with getting her husband the trip, that flies in the face of the evidence adduced by the Senate Intelligence Committee whose findings were released not on a partisan basis — the bipartisan findings of the Senate Intelligence Committee, which was that she very much did have something to do with it, that she recommended him and that she put it in a memo.
WALLACE: So she was lying under oath?
HUME: I think that there is reason to question her credibility on that point.