The editorial board met Thursday morning with Norm Coleman, the Minnesota Republican trying through a series of legal challenges to return to the U.S. Senate. Excerpts of that conversation will appear in Sunday’s Opinion Exchange section. In the meantime, here’s an exchange that dealt with a different subject, the reported FBI investigation into allegations that a Coleman supporter, Nasser Kazeminy, had tried to funnel money to the then-senator and his wife. (To watch a video of the exchange, go here.)
Star Tribune: Have you been contacted by the FBI in the Kazeminy investigation?
Coleman: I’ve made my point that we did nothing wrong. … There has never been a single allegation that either my wife or I did anything wrong. Not one, that we did anything wrong. I’ve made it clear that I’m just not going to comment about that. … You’ve got a business dispute between two guys who got fired and a guy who took over a company.
And we’ve talked about this, and I’ll say this: You’ve got two reporters who inserted themselves into a Democrat campaign commercial four days before an election, which I found stunning.
Star Tribune: That’s not true, Senator. They didn’t insert themselves —they were there, they became part of that commercial, but they did not have anything to do with producing it.
Coleman: … That is true. … The trackers [from opposing campaigns] are there. Everything we do is tracked. So you’re telling me that two seasoned reporters who bring up an allegation four days before an election — it could have waited until afterwards — in the midst of, in front of which ... the cameras weren’t hidden, were they? Were the cameras hidden?
Star Tribune: The reporters tried to contact you. ...
Coleman: But get to the point of, they inserted themselves. Did they raise an allegation four days before an election in front of TV cameras that they know are filming? Is the answer to that yes or no? … You said they didn’t insert themselves. They did.
Star Tribune: I wouldn’t have been conscious of the cameras if it had been me and I’m guessing they weren’t either.
Coleman: Goodness gracious, we’ve covered by cameras, OK? Then you’re thinking these guys are dumber than ... OK? That’s an absurd proposition. In front of a bevy of cameras, they raised allegations of something — I’ll just end it again — no basis in fact. Not a single allegation made to date of anything done wrong by myself or my wife, because there was nothing. So I’m not going to comment on it, but I take great exception to the fact that you say two seasoned reporters didn’t insert themselves in front of cameras and the next day have a Democrat commercial running on that very issue. I take offense to that.