Although there has been national coverage of the indictment of Washington superlobbyist Paul Magliocchetti for violating campaign finance laws, the name of the Democrat frequently likened to jailed Republican powerhouse Jack Abramoff “doesn’t ring a bell” with the President’s top spokesman.
At the regular White House briefing for reporters on Friday, HUMAN EVENTS asked Press Secretary Robert Gibbs about Magliocchetti (pronounced “MAG-lee-O-Chet-Tea”), whose trial in federal court for corruption charges will soon begin.
Noting that Magliocchetti had great contacts throughout the Democratic Party, Gibbs was asked whether the President ever met him when he was senator from Illinois or in the White House.
“The name doesn’t ring a bill,” Gibbs said. “And I don’t have any knowledge that he did. But I don’t know the answer.”
When it was pointed out to Gibbs that Magliocchetti worked for the late Rep. John Murtha (D.-Pa.) for many years, the White House press secretary replied: “The name doesn’t sound familiar.”
The response sounded eerily familiar. As the Abramoff involvement with many Republican officials was unraveling in December of ‘05, then-White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan was often asked whether President George W. Bush had met the influential Republican insider.
McClellan replied that he did not recall Bush meeting Abramoff and that the President has his picture taken with hundreds of people every day, including the White House correspondents who had been photographed with him at the Christmas party that same week.