Sen. Jon Kyl walks back White House border story

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Yet another Republican politiclan good at just making up shit. Jon Kyl walks back White House border story:

Earlier this week, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) caused a stir when he was quoted saying that President Obama personally told him the administration will not support stricter border enforcement until Republicans back broad immigration reform. The White House denied the claim. Now Kyl is saying that's not what he meant.

Kyl was quoted: "The president said the problem is if we secure the border, then you all won't have any reason to support comprehensive immigration reform. In other words, they're holding it hostage."

In an interview with National Review, Kyl explained:

Kyl tells us that the comments were "taken a bit out of context," and that the "they" he was referring to was the Left, "the president's base," and not the administration. "I did not try to start a fight. This meeting happened a month ago and we were talking in the context of his political problems. He was talking about how they think that if we secure the border, you guys [Republicans] won't have the incentive to work on comprehensive immigration reform."

So why did Kyl's office defend the original story, but not put out this correction?

UPDATE: Well now we know. This is a case of extrapolation from a "straw man" argument, one of Kyl's favorite tactics. He says "some people support…" and you infer: "the president." Kyl stands behind original account of immigration confrontation with Obama – The Hill's Blog Briefing Room:

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) rejected on Monday the notion that he'd "walked back" his account of a meeting on immigration reform with President Barack Obama.

Kyl said he stood entirely behind his characterization of a meeting with Obama in which the senator described the president as threatening not to bolster border security until Republicans sign onto a comprehensive immigration reform bill providing illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.

“Yes, what I said was exactly accurate," Kyl said in an interview to air this evening on Fox News' "Special Report." "That is precisely what he said to me. People misinterpreted what I meant by it, but what I said was accurate.”

The Arizona senator, who serves as Republicans' second-ranking member in the Senate, denied that he had changed his story after he said in an interview last week that his remarks — particularly talking about how border security had been held "hostage" — were "taken a bit out of context."

* * *

The White House, which has denied Kyl's account of the meeting all along, seized on the interview in which he'd seemed to have walked back his original story on Friday. "Well, I guess this finally settles it…" White House press secretary Robert Gibbs tweeted, including a link to a story about Kyl backtracking on his account.

Kyl said that if anything had been misconstrued, it was his words about border security being "held hostage."

"In other words, these are now my words, they —not referring to anyone in particular — are holding hostage the securing of the border for comprehensive reform," Kyl said in describing his initial account. “Immediately people read into that, that I was accusing the president in basing his policies today on a, I gather personal view of his, that we shouldn’t do one without the other. Now, that is his view, I am firmly convinced of that but I was not making a charge or an allegation against him. People read into that.”

In that case, Kyl just refuted his own earlier statement that "that is precisely what he [the president] said to me." No, it is not. It is what he wants people to read into it.

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