The race for Florida’s U.S. Senate seat continues to be a circus (see Carlos Beruff calling President Obama an animal
and U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy's paternal financial backer
), but U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson took it to a new level last week in a live TV spat
with MSNBC host Joy Reid.
Reid was asking the Orlando Democrat about his earlier drama
with U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, no relation to Joy Reid. The Nevada Democrat has called on Grayson to drop out
of the Senate race amid an ethics probe
into Grayson's management of his hedge fund. Politico
reports that during a meeting of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Grayson confronted Reid, asking if he knew who he was.
"Say my name, senator," Grayson told Reid. "Say my name."
When Grayson asked Reid about his earlier comments, the Nevada senator told Grayson, "I want you to lose. It's true."
Grayson later appeared on MSNBC with Joy Reid to discuss the outburst, but ended up having another confrontation on air
with the TV host. Before Reid finished her first question, Grayson interrupted her.
"You got to start with correcting the record, Joy," Grayson told her. "No, wait a minute. You just did to me, Joy, exactly what Harry Reid tried to do. You smeared me."
Grayson told Reid that although the Office of Congressional Ethics says that "there may possibly have been some violations" in their reports to the Ethics Committee, no investigative subcommittee was formed.
"In every single case where the Ethics Committee decided not to form an investigative subcommittee there was no official sanction," Grayson says.
"Ever. Ever, Joy. Ev-er...You and Harry Reid both need to stick to the truth."
But as Reid tried to point out, the investigation is still open. The Office of Congressional Ethics said in its report
that there was "substantial reason to believe" several allegations, including allegations that Grayson permitted the use of his name by four entities linked to his hedge fund, omitted required information from his annual financial disclosure statements and had a congressional staffer use official resources while working for the congressman's hedge fund.
On MSNBC, Grayson also disputed the authenticity of brochures that The New York Times
included in its report on him. Grayson says its a "performance report prepared by a third party," but as a contact, the brochure lists his director of investor relations, Politico
reports. The Orlando Democrat also tried to say the document couldn't possibly be from 2013 because the online "metadata" was from 2016, but as Politico points out, that's because the NYT
uploaded it a few months ago.
"My goodness, more lies,” Grayson tells Reid at the end of their interview. "Could you at least get your facts straight before you try to slime me on national TV? Is that asking too much?"
On Saturday, Grayson was interviewed by Jim DeFede on CBS4 Miami about his candidacy and the ethics investigation. When DeFede asked him a question regarding his campaign finance director, David Keith, telling the NYT
he was paid about $1,000 monthly to help Grayson search for new hedge fund investors, Grayson told DeFede that Keith never spoke to the newspaper.
"You’re saying he never spoke to The New York Times?" DeFede asks
"That’s correct," Grayson tells him. "The New York Times is full of shit, Jim."
Grayson's own campaign later corrected him in a statement that DeFede read live, according to Politico
"Rep. Grayson recalled the details of his conversation with David Keith incorrectly," the statement says. "Mr. Keith told Rep. Grayson that he had never told the New York Times that Mr. Keith had solicited investors for the investment partnership, not that Mr. Keith had never spoke to the Times at all. In fact, Mr. Keith never did solicit any investors for the partnership."