Tim Russert joined Matt Lauer on the Today Show, and misstated the real scandal that Jack Abramoff is involved in. [media id=14486]-WMP [media id=14
January 26, 2006

Tim Russert joined Matt Lauer on the Today Show, and misstated the real scandal that Jack Abramoff is involved in.
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(Think Progress has the full transcript):

LAUER: Katie pressed him [Howard Dean] on that and we did some research. We went to the Center for Responsive Politics and found out that technically speaking, Howard Dean may be correct. But here’s what we found. That 66 percent of the money in this situation went to Republicans, but 34 percent of the money — not from Abramoff, but from his associates and clients — went to Democrats. So, can Democrats wash their hands of this?

RUSSERT: No, they will say it is a primarily a Republican scandal because the personal money of Abramoff went only to Republicans. But Matt, the issue is broad and wide. Democrats also understand that they accept trips from lobbyists and meals and so forth, and that’s why in order to reform all this, it has to be a bipartisan approach. But Democrats get raging mad when you suggest this is a bipartisan scandal.

Democrats get raging mad because they did nothing illegal. There is nothing technical about it and that is why the GOP wants to make this a bi-partisan scandal and try to bring Democrats into their mess. What's wrong with Lauer and Russert? The Abramoff scandal and lobbyist problems are two separate issues. It's about the illegal use of monies by Jack Abramoff, Michael Scanlon, and the K Street Project that are the Republican scandals alone.

As TP says: "Moreover, Tim Russert's response to Lauer was misleading. Prominent Democrats haven't denied that corruption is widespread in Washington. They acknowledge that ethical improprieties-such as the lobbyist-funded trips that Russert mentions - are a bipartisan problem. But they are right to get "raging mad when you suggest this is a bipartisan scandal," because the Abramoff scandal is not bipartisan...read on"

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