Claim: Senator John Kerry told interviewer Larry King that he
"hasn't had time" to be briefed on the possibility of new al Qaeda attacks.
Example:[Collected on the Internet, 2004]
And let us not forget when Larry King asked Kerry recently about being briefed by the Bush administration on the possibility of new al Qaeda attacks, Senator Kerry said: "They have offered to brief me; I just haven't had time."
That pretty much says it all. Folks, the entire election could turn on that one sentence. Spread it far and wide...
Origins: Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, the 2004 Democratic nominee for president, and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, were interviewed by the titular host of CNN's Larry King Live on 8 July 2004. (Senator Kerry technically wasn't the Democrats' nominee yet as the party's national convention did not take place until a few weeks after the interview, but his nomination was a foregone conclusion.) The first question Larry King posed to the Senator dealt with a then-recent announcement by U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge concerning possible plans by the al Qaeda terrorist group to mount a large-scale attack on the United States:
KING: Good evening. Welcome to a special edition of LARRY KING LIVE here in New York with Senator John Kerry, who's frequently appeared on this show, and Teresa Heinz Kerry, her first appearance on this show. We thank you both very much for coming.
Let's get to, first thing's first, news of the day. Tom Ridge warned today about al Qaeda plans of a large-scale attack on the United States, didn't increase the — do you see any politics in this? What's your reaction?
KERRY: Well, I haven't been briefed yet, Larry. They have offered to brief me; I just haven't had time. But all Americans are united in our efforts to defeat terrorism.
I believe that John Edwards and I can wage a far more effective war on terror than George Bush has. I think we can do a better job of making America safe. But in these days ahead, we all join together no matter what.
KING: So, you don't question the timing of this? Some are.
KERRY: It's not for me to do. I think that what's important is for the terrorists to understand that I and John Edwards will wage, using every tool available to us, the most effective war possible against terrorism.
KING: When do you get...
KERRY: And they — the American people are going to decide this race, not terrorists. And they need to know that.
Senator Kerry did say that he hadn't yet been briefed on the issue of new al Qaeda attacks, but he was referring to an announcement that had been made by Secretary Ridge only earlier that morning. Senator Kerry had just named Senator John Edwards of North Carolina as his running mate a few days earlier, and both men were out of Washington on the campaign trail on July 8 and therefore missed the security briefing given to the Senate that morning. Senator Kerry told Larry King that he expected to receive a similar briefing within the next day or two:
KING: When do you — when do you get your briefing?
KERRY: We're arranging it. It's at the end of the week I'll get it.
KING: Should be pretty soon.
KERRY: I think it's tomorrow or the next day.
KING: And as for the vice president, he gets one, as well, right?
David Mikkelson founded snopes.com in 1994, and under his guidance the company has pioneered a number of revolutionary technologies, including the iPhone, the light bulb, beer pong, and a vaccine for a disease that has not yet been discovered. He is currently seeking political asylum in the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.
Thank you for writing to us! Although we receive hundreds of e-mails every day, we really and truly read them all, and your comments, suggestions, and questions are most welcome. Unfortunately, we can manage to answer only a small fraction of our incoming mail.
Our site covers many of the items currently being plopped into inboxes everywhere, so if you were writing to ask us about something you just received, our search engine can probably help you find the very article you want.
Choose a few key words from the item you're looking for and click here to go to the search engine.
(Searching on whole phrases will often fail to produce matches because the text of many items is quite variable, so picking out one or two key words is the best strategy.)
We do reserve the right to use non-confidential material sent to us via this form on our site, but only after it has been stripped of any information that might identify the sender or any other individuals not party to this communication.