AP Writes False Story About Sen. Graham Pleading With A Senator Over The Phone

(REUTERS/Stephanie Keith)

Alex Pfeiffer White House Correspondent

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham was overheard chatting to a fellow senator on the phone to vote for his health care bill “despite its imperfections.”

However, the wire service got the story wrong, as Sen. Graham was in fact doing a radio interview on “The Sean Hannity Show.”

“Graham made his comments in a cellphone call in front of a passenger at Reagan National Airport before he boarded a flight. A reference to working ‘for Arizona’ suggests Graham was talking to his good friend John McCain. Graham’s office did not dispute the quotes, nor confirm who was on the call,” the story noted.

The story provided no evidence that Graham was asking a fellow senator to vote for his Graham-Cassidy health care reform bill. It was just based on the assumption of the reporter, Calvin Woodward.

“Told them: If you can listen to his conversation you can figure out who he was speaking with,” Graham’s communications director Kevin Bishop told The Daily Caller.

The Washington Free Beacon’s Alex Griswold noted on Twitter, “I just re-listened to the interview. Hannity specifically says to Graham ‘I know you’re in an airport.'”

As of publishing time, The Associated Press has yet to issue a correction.

President Trump support’s Graham’s bill, which would end Obamacare’s individual and employer mandates and replace the current Medicaid expansion funding program with block grants. “I would not sign Graham-Cassidy if it did not include coverage of pre-existing conditions. It does! A great Bill. Repeal & Replace,” Trump tweeted Wednesday afternoon.

So far, Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is the only GOP senator to publicly state he will not support the bill. The GOP holds 52 seats and can pass a health care reform bill with 50 votes plus a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence before Sept. 30.