Rep. Cynthia McKinney was caught on tape by a television station bad-mouthing a senior staffer after ending an interview with a reporter.
McKinney, who had a run-in with a Capitol-Hill police officer earlier this month, was asked repeated questions about the scuffle. After the interview ended with a WGCL-TV, CBS 46 reporter, a microphone McKinney was wearing picked up comments about her communications director Coz Carson.
“Oh crap now you know what. ...,” said an irritated McKinney, D-Ga., “they lied to Coz and Coz is a fool.”
When McKinney realized her remarks had been recorded by the microphone, she then returned to face the camera and told the reporter that comments about Carson were off the record.
But the TV station aired the footage Saturday, and CNN later picked it up.
McKinney, who is running for re-election in the 4th Congressional District, said the station lied about setting up the interview. But Mike Machi, the station’s assistant news director, said McKinney’s office said the reporter could ask questions about the scuffle in the one-on-one interview.
“Congresswoman McKinney has been in Washington for a long time and she has handled the media for most of her public life,” said Machi, who was unapologetic about airing the interview outtakes. “There were lots of ways to handle this and I was absolutely surprised that she handled this situation in that fashion.”
McKinney is expected to qualify for the U.S. race on Monday.