ABC’s Brian Ross talks to the Wall Street Journal today about his sources on the Mark Foley story:
Brian Ross, chief investigative correspondent at ABC News, said a nonpartisan source provided the “tamer” emails that the network posted on its Web site “The Blotter.” Within hours of that posting, “numerous” former House pages emailed ABC with additional allegations about Mr. Foley, Mr. Ross said.
Two former pages — one who had been sponsored by a Republican member of Congress and one by a Democrat — offered ABC texts of sexually explicit instant messages purportedly sent by Mr. Foley. Mr. Ross said the network then tracked down the original recipients of those messages, using a page yearbook, and got firsthand confirmation of their authenticity. Mr. Ross said he thinks one of the original recipients was a Democrat and the other a Republican.
Mr. Ross declined to identify any of the sources by name. He described the first tipster as a “Capitol Hill source” — though not an aide or congressional official — who was “aware of the pages’ complaints” and “concerned about kids and pedophiles.” This person, Mr. Ross said, is “involved in public-policy issues” but isn’t affiliated with either political party.
This account is slightly at odds with what Ross told The New York Times yesterday, when he hinted that his sources were Republicans. What kind of “Capitol Hill source” – not affiliated with either party — could have had access to the e-mails? An IT guy?
UPDATE: A reader sends in a good guess: “Hmmm….sounds a bit like Bob Novak’s ‘certainly no partisan gunslinger’ line.
“Clearly the source is Richard Armitage.”