Mississippi State senator Chris McDaniel spoke for the first time today of learning about the arrest of a crazed blogger who took a photograph of his primary challenger’s wife in a retirement home, saying the phone call that briefly notified of the incident before he was asked about it by reporters woke him and did not include information about an arrest.
McDaniel’s remarks are his first explanation of why he told a reporter he didn’t know about the incident, despite that his campaign manager had learned about it hours earlier and his campaign had intervened to urge the blogger to take down a video featuring the photograph three weeks earlier.
At 7:30am Saturday, campaign manager Melanie Sojourner called McDaniel. “I’m ashamed to say that morning I slept a little late and the phone call awakened me. And basically she said some things about Ms. Cochran and I said: ‘Whoa. Stop right there. You know our campaign position in regards to that,'” McDaniel said in an often hostile interview with Supertalk Mississippi radio host Paul Gallo Tuesday morning.
McDaniel said before Sojourner could fully explain what happened, he interrupted her so he could get ready for the day and said she could explain it more fully at a campaign stop later that morning.
Later that morning, McDaniel was asked about the incident by a reporter from The Hill and said, “I don’t guess I’ve been awake long enough to see what’s happened.”
McDaniel reiterated his criticism of the blogger who photographed six-term incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran’s wife at a retirement home in Madison, MS.
“What happened there is reprehensible. It’s probably one of the worst things I’ve heard in an awfully long time. And I can tell you this: Our campaign had absolutely nothing to do with that, no knowledge of it all,” he said.
He also pressed Cochran on why he waited for nearly three weeks after learning about the incident before reporting it to police.
“If someone were to break into, or come into, or acquire a picture of my mom or of my wife, I don’t wait three weeks to file charges,” McDaniel said. “I don’t wait until two weeks from the primary date to file charges. I file charges that day.”