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NRCC's Foley "Damage Control"

Ben Smith : Two senior aides to National Republican Campaign Committee Chairman Tom Reynolds participated in “damage control” conference

Ben Smith :

Two senior aides to National Republican Campaign Committee Chairman Tom Reynolds participated in “damage control” conference calls concerning correspondence between Congressman Mark Foley and a former congressional page -- two days before the scandal became public, and earlier than previously reported.

NRCC Communications Director Carl Forti and Reynolds then chief-of-staff Kirk Fordham both took part in the first call the evening of Wednesday, September 27, and one call the next day, Forti and other sources familiar with the call confirmed. Forti's involvement and the NRCC's role in the run-up to the Foley scandal add another link between the disgraced former congressman and Reynolds, who has said he knew only indirectly of questionable emails, and that he reported them to his House superiors. They also reflect another moment at which House GOP leadership was aware of concerns about Foley and pages.

Foley resigned Friday, September 29, soon after ABCNews presented him with a sexually explicit instant message correspondence with a page.

But ABCNews first approached the Foley campaign that Tuesday, with more ambiguouscorrespondence in which Foley asked the former page for his photograph(.pdf).

The conference call, described by a Hill staffer familiar with its contents as focused on “damage control,” also included Foley’s Florida-based political consultant, Richard Johnston, and his communications director, Jason Kello, according to two people familiar with the call. The participants were unaware of the explicit instant messages that would force Foley's resignation two days later....read on

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