More questions about Harper's knowledge and Grewal's credibility
We have a cluster of apparently contradictory stories today. The central questions are:
- When did Grewal tell Harper about the tapes?
- When did Harper tell Grewal to stop taping?
- Did Grewal continue to tape after Harper had told him to stop?
Once he began taping the conversations, he says, he informed Conservative leader Stephen Harper, who approved the ongoing efforts. He said he stopped short of trying to tape prime minister Paul Martin. "We didn't want to damage the reputation of the country, so we decided not to tape the prime minister," he said. "Mr. Harper said, 'Gurmant, I think we end it there now.' "The Conservatives quickly contradicted this when contacted by the Edmonton Sun:
Harper's office insisted yesterday the leader only learned about the taping when Grewal offered to tape the PM, not before. Harper instructed him to stop immediately after he learned of what was going on, said spokesman William Stairs. "Harper said 'No, I think that would be a very bad idea and I think we should put an end to this,' " Stairs said.This led to a new statement (if anyone sees a copy of Grewal's clarification, could they email me at email@example.com) that is mentioned in the same Edmonton Sun article:
Grewal issued a statement late yesterday, clarifying that he did not seek or obtain Harper's approval for the secret taping.And in today's Globe and Mail story:
In his clarification yesterday, Mr. Grewal said he informed Mr. Harper of what he was doing, but that "no approval was sought or given."Clearly someone in central office caught the interview and forced the quick retraction.
Some, of course, will use this to cast doubt on Harper's version of events. It seems likelier to me that this is another example of Grewal's tendency to embellish one he's given center stage.