Rangel Sounds Off On Washington Post: “I’m going to see how much damn ink The Washington Post has.”

At a press conference today, Rep. Charlie Rangel went after the Washington Post for its recent reporting (and editorializing) on his fundraising for an academic center that bears his name.

A transcript:

    RANGEL: Good morning. This looks like a pretty good crowd. That’s
    great. Thank you so much for being here. Had some apprehensions that I might not get the same turnout.

    First of all, I’m trying to think of something that would be so catchy that would demand that your newspaper print it, and so I may give several things so that it’d be (inaudible).

    First of all, I normally advise people, as I have been advised, not to respond to these allegations that I abused my congressional discretion in writing on behalf of a school institution named after me because it would blow over; or, as more often I’ve advised members, that remember you don’t have as much ink as the printers do.

    So one of the things that I would use, hoping that it might catch on,
    is that I’m going to see how much damn ink The Washington Post has.

    So if at a time that we’re at war, we need education, health care,
    unemployment, a fiscal crisis, the opening up of our treasury and
    increase in billions of dollars in debt, if The Washington Post
    believes that this warrants front page and editorials, then I feel
    it’s my obligation to push this to the very limit so that members
    whose elections may be adversely affected by unfounded rumors created
    by the press, that they would have a clear idea as to what the ground
    rules are.

    So to that extent they — another potential headline is, “Rangel
    Insists That the Ethics Committee Investigate the Unfounded Charges,”
    because, first of all, nobody that can read is going to bring any
    charges against me, including The Washington Post, which, of course, I encourage them to do it, because then they have to follow their own
    foundless story, and at least that gets some coverage on this in The
    Washington Post.

    And I would want to make certain that other members are in the
    position to know what they can or cannot do.

    As to the allegations, I challenge The Washington Post — and if you
    can find some word a little stronger than that — to show one line in
    any of the letters that I have sent out on behalf of the City College
    institution, which their board of directors decided to name after me,
    where there’s a solicitation for funds.

    RANGEL: In all of the letters that were sent to not-for-profit
    foundations, rather than as they say to people who may have business
    before my committee, I encourage them to meet with City College to
    learn more about the program.

    In the three areas that you can say is not listed that I was writing
    to a foundation, one of them was writing to David Rockefeller, and in
    my mind — I was really writing to the Rockefeller foundation, but if
    you want to say David Rockefeller has business before my committee —
    well, he wakes in the morning, I assume, just breathing he has
    business before my committee. But it was a Dear David letter. And I’ve known the guy, and his brother better when he was governor of New York.

    The other one was Jack (sic) Greenberg, who while he was the executive director and (inaudible) the CEO of AIG — that’s the American Insurance Group — the only discussions I’ve ever had with him was our shared experience in Korea, where we both earned the Bronze Star. And in talking and writing the letter to him, again, he was known, as he is in the philanthropic world, as the CEO of Starr Foundation, which is one of the largest in the country.

    The third exception is Don Trump, who on that letter, which was one of the letters that I know is in the possession of The Washington Post, is a handwritten note that I’m sending him the material as he
    requested. And, of course, he has no issue before the committee.