Under intense scrutiny after misstating his military record and most recently being accused of campaigning while on active duty, it's only natural that Illinois GOP Senate candidate Mark Kirk look for someone to blame. This time, as Chicago Sun-Times reporter Lynn Sweet points out, Kirk accused the Obama White House of leaking information about his military record--even though there is absolutely no evidence of them doing so.
On Wednesday, the Nitpicker blog, run by Army and Navy veteran Terry Welch, posted a document from the Department of Defense showing military officials expressed "concerns arising from his partisan political activities during his last two tours of active duty."
The memo comes after Kirk has had to publicly apologize for embellishing several other aspects of his military record. At first, Kirk blamed his opponent, saying that Alexi Giannoulias' campaign told the media he never really won the Navy Intelligence Officer of the Year award. Now, the Obama White House is getting the blame. Lynn Sweet reports:
I asked the White House for comment after the Kirk campaign -- facing another embarrassing story --pushed back with questions about how the document surfaced, right up to the Obama White House.
Kirk spokesman Kirsten Kukowski said on Wednesday, "This raises grave concerns and questions about who gained access to Kirk's confidential records. The document in question should be viewed for what it is -- a baseless political ploy by partisans bent on defending a U.S. Senate seat at any cost."
Kukowski also told Sweet that she plans on filing a Freedom of Information Act for all correspondence between "administration officials and Democratic campaigns or political operative regarding Mr. Kirk's personal military records."
White House senior adviser David Axelrod dismissed the allegations in an interview with Sweet.
"Obviously, Congressman Kirk has some problems that are of his creation and he can't download them on us," Axelrod said. "I assure you that everyone here has plenty to do. No one is trafficking in revelatory records about him."
Meanwhile, Welch said he got the Department of Defense document from someone within Kirk's campaign. When the Kirk campaign began pointing fingers about who released the document, Welch responded on his blog:
Suggesting it came from administration officials or political operatives is baseless. I have backed up every single statement I've made about Mark Kirk, but he has chosen to respond to substantive and substantiated claims I have made with unsupported accusations. I'm not a political operative. I'm a pissed off vet who hates fakers and, as I and others have extensively documented, Mark Kirk is a liar.