Did the White House try to strong-arm a journalist in the wake of the Justice Department’s “Operation Fast and Furious” scandal? CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson says government leaders took a very aggressive tack following her revelations earlier this year.
On Tuesday’s Laura Ingraham Show, Attkisson said DOJ spokeswoman Tracy Schmaler and White House associate communications director Eric Schultz yelled and screamed at her over the story.
“The DOJ woman was just yelling at me,” Attkisson said. “The guy from the White House on Friday night literally screamed at me and cussed at me. Eric Schultz — oh, the person screaming was Tracy Schmaler. She was yelling, not screaming. And the person who screamed at me was Eric Schultz at the White House.”
Attkisson explained the vicious tongue-lashing:
“In between the yelling that I received from the Justice Department yesterday, the spokeswoman — who would not put anything in writing — I was asking for her explanation so there would be clarity and no confusion later over what had been said. She wouldn’t put anything in writing,” she said.
“So we talked on the phone and she said things such as ‘the question Holder answered was different than the one he asked.’ But the way he phrased it, he said very explicitly, ‘I probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.’”
Attkisson also said the DOJ and White House representatives complained that CBS was “unfair and biased” because it didn’t give the White House favorable coverage on the developing scandal.
“Is it sort of a drip, drip. And I’m certainly not the one to make the case for DOJ and White House about what I’m doing wrong,” she added. “They will tell you that I’m the only reporter, as they told me, that is not reasonable. They say The Washington Post is reasonable, the LA Times is reasonable, The New York Times is reasonable — I’m the only one who thinks this is a story, and they think I’m unfair and biased by pursuing it.”