McConnell Calls FBI Over Recordings at Campaign HQ
FRANKFORT, KY - The FBI has been asked to look into whether Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell's campaign headquarters was bugged after a recording of a private campaign meeting surfaced in a liberal-leaning magazine.
"We've always said the left would stop at nothing to attack Senator McConnell, but Watergate-style tactics to bug campaign headquarters are above and beyond," said McConnell campaign manager Jesse Benton said in a statement Tuesday. "Senator McConnell's campaign is working with the FBI and has notified the local U.S. Attorney in Louisville, per FBI request, about these recordings. Obviously a recording device of some kind was placed in Sen. McConnell's campaign office without consent. By whom and how that was accomplished presumably will be the subject of a criminal investigation."
Mother Jones magazine published the recording of the February 2 meeting in which McConnell aides were discussing research into potential Democratic challengers, including actress Ashley Judd, who later decided not to run. Aides on the recording can be heard referencing Judd's political positions, religious beliefs and her struggles with depression. They also discussed Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, a rising star in the Kentucky Democratic Party who hasn't ruled herself out as a challenger.
"This is yet another example of the politics of personal destruction that embody Mitch McConnell and are pervasive in Washington DC," Judd's spokeswoman, Cara Tripicchio, said in a statement.
Benton said a recording device had been placed in McConnell's office without consent. Neither the FBI in Louisville nor the magazine immediately returned AP telephone calls seeking comment. The magazine reported that the recording was provided last week by a source who requested anonymity.
Dan Logsdon, Chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party, issued the following statement Tuesday.
"I certainly do not know anything about how this may have happened. However, it's clear that this is the McConnell we all know-leading a negative, nasty campaign determined to lash out his opponents since he doesn't have any accomplishments to point to."