The Hoax Gets Hoaxier

The McCain volunteer ATM assault hoax now turns out to be even hoaxier. It seems that McCain’s Pennsylvania communications director made up details about the fake assault that went beyond even what the young woman herself claimed, and well before any of the alleged facts surrounding the incident had been confirmed or were known:

John McCain’s Pennsylvania communications director told reporters in the state an incendiary version of the hoax story about the attack on a McCain volunteer well before the facts of the case were known or established — and even told reporters outright that the “B” carved into the victim’s cheek stood for “Barack,” according to multiple sources familiar with the discussions.

John Verrilli, the news director for KDKA in Pittsburgh, told TPM Election Central that McCain’s Pennsylvania campaign communications director gave one of his reporters a detailed version of the attack that included a claim that the alleged attacker said, “You’re with the McCain campaign? I’m going to teach you a lesson.”

Verrilli also told TPM that the McCain spokesperson had claimed that the “B” stood for Barack. According to Verrilli, the spokesperson also told KDKA that Sarah Palin had called the victim of the alleged attack, who has since admitted the story was a hoax.

The KDKA reporter had called McCain’s campaign office for details after seeing the story — sans details — teased on Drudge.

The McCain spokesperson’s claims — which came in the midst of extraordinary and heated conversations late yesterday between the McCain campaign, local TV stations, and the Obama camp, as the early version of the story rocketed around the political world — is significant because it reveals a McCain official pushing a version of the story that was far more explosive than the available or confirmed facts permitted at the time.

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