Senator Mitch McConnell’s claims that Progress Kentucky bugged his campaign office are largely true, according to one local Democratic official.
Jacob Conway told a local radio station that two Progress Kentucky employees bragged to him about recording the meeting through a door in McConnell’s campaign office. Their names: Shawn Reilly and Curtis Morrison.
“Apparently the gentlemen overheard the conversation and decided to record it with a phone or recording device they had in their pocket,” Consay said. “Could’ve been an iPhone, could’ve been a Flip camera or something like that.”
The meeting took place on February 2, but Mother Jones released the tape earlier this week. This prompted Senator McConnell to cry foul. He accused a local progressive super PAC, Progress Kentucky, of having bugged his campaign office.
The assumption’s understandable. Progress Kentucky had previously slandered McConnell’s Taiwanese wife, Elaine Chao, asserting that she was the reason her husband supported shipping jobs to China.
“As you know last month my wife’s ethnicity was attacked by a left-wing group in Kentucky and then apparently they also bugged my headquarters,” McConnell told reporters Tuesday. “So I think that pretty much sums up the way the political left is operating in Kentucky.”
Mitch McConnell requested that the FBI investigate the matter, and the next day federal agents showed up at his campaign office. Staffers handed over pertinent information to the agents, information that has not been made public.
The recording captured the McConnell campaign discussing what was fair game against Ashley Judd, an actress who was considering running for McConnell’s seat in the Senate. She ultimately decided not to before the month was over. McConnell never addressed a reporter’s question over whether he would have condoned using Judd’s mental health and religious beliefs against her.
Jacob Conway is on the executive committee of the Jefferson County Democratic Party. He has been approached by the FBI and is talking with them about the taping.
“WFPL’s reports that left-wing activists illegally recorded a private meeting inside our campaign headquarters are very disturbing,” McConnell Campaign Manager Jesse Benton said in a statement. “At this point, we understand that the FBI is immersed in an intensive criminal investigation and must defer any further comment to them.”
Mitch McConnell’s approval rating has dropped, leaving Democrats with an opportunity to unseat the fourth highest ranking Republican. They have yet to find a strong candidate to run against McConnell, but the current controversy has placed them on the defensive at an inopportune time.
Progress Kentucky secretly taping a meeting at Mitch McConnell’s campaign office may prove to be the best thing that could happen to secure the senator’s re-election.