08/06/2012 04:21 pm ET Updated Aug 07, 2012

RNC Harry Reid Accusation A Complete Misfire

The Republican National Committee has accused David Axelrod of being the anonymous source behind Harry Reid's accusation that Mitt Romney didn't pay taxes for 10 years.

The theory, which was posited by RNC Communications Director Sean Spicer, rests on the assumption that Reid made the charge -- during an interview with The Huffington Post -- just hours after the Obama campaign's communications chief visited the Senate Democratic caucus.

"You've got to wonder if the so-called source is Axelrod himself," Spicer told CNN. "Hours after meeting with Axelrod, Reid comes out and makes baseless accusations?"

There are multiple problems with this. For one, Reid sources his claim about Romney to an anonymous Bain investor. And Axelrod, while many things, is not a Bain investor. Secondly, Axelrod himself denied the accusation in a statement to CNN.

But the most obvious reason Spicer is wrong is that Reid actually made the remarks about Romney's taxes the Thursday prior to Axelrod's visit.

The Huffington Post would know: We went to his office on Capitol Hill to do the interview the morning after the Senate passed a bill to extend the Bush tax cuts for incomes below $250,000. We wrote two other stories based off of that interview in the aftermath. The piece about Reid's claims regarding Romney's tax returns, however, was not written until later.

Indeed, one of the authors, Ryan Grim, could not have been at the Capitol interviewing Reid on Tuesday, as he was comfortably in a hammock, half-drunk on margaritas, in West Virginia.

"It was," Grim told The Huffington Post, "my most prolific vacation."



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