In the NYT Politcs Blog, Michael Grynbaum writes:
Underscoring the McCain campaign’s aggressive attacks on Senator Barack Obama’s character, Gov. Sarah Palin accused the Illinois senator today of “putting ambition above country” at several private fund-raising events in Ohio.
In making her remarks, Ms. Palin cited a disputed report in The Washington Times today that said Mr. Obama, on a trip to Iraq with other members of the Senate, had encouraged an Iraqi official to delay an agreement that would extend the presence of American troops in Iraq. Mr. Obama’s campaign denied that claim, as did other attendees on the trip. . .
The Obama campaign, which faced these allegations in mid-September, reiterated its denials today. It called them categorically untrue, citing spokesmen for other senators who attended, including Chuck Hagel, Republican of Nebraska, and Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island, who agree that Mr. Obama informed the Iraqis at the beginning of the meeting that the United States spoke with one voice on foreign policy and he would not contradict the Bush administration.
This is simply untrue. At the Washington Times article made quite clear, it was reporting on a telephone meeting with Iraqi leaders in June, which is entirely separate from the trip of Senate members in July. The July trip was the subject of a controversial column in the New York Post. Grynbaum apparently assumed the Washington Times was writing about the same thing, without ever bothering to check.
What I’m really curious about is whether the Obama campaign’s denial that Grynbaum reports actually happened. Such a denial makes no sense, since Hagel and Reed were at the July meeting, not the June meeting. While it’s certainly possible that Obama’s campaign issued a nonsensical denial, I think it’s just as likely that Grynbaum invented the denial that he thinks Obama will/should issue. Moreover, he doesn’t include any direct quote from the Obama campaign, and it’s hard to believe he would forgo such a quote if there was one.