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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Alan Grayson accuses MSNBC host of 'spreading lies' on ethics probe

In a combative interview this morning, Democratic Senate candidate and current U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson accused MSNBC host Joy Reid of "smearing" him and "spreading lies" about him in relation to a congressional ethics investigation over a once-offshore hedge fund associated with the Orlando congressman.

Reid initially wanted to ask Grayson about his confrontation with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid this week, but almost immediately after she started speaking, Grayson interjected.

He started talking over Joy Reid and demanded she "correct the record" in describing the status of the ethics probe.

Grayson contends the investigation is over because an investigative subcommittee wasn't formed. He notes that no sanctions have "ever" been brought without such a committee being created.

"So that's it, Joy," he said. "You and Harry Reid both need to stick to the truth."

However -- as Joy Reid attempted to clarify -- the investigation does remain open. The Office of Congressional Ethics recommended the U.S. House Ethics Committee continue investigating. The probe is in limbo unless or until the committee takes further action.

More: Politifact - "U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson downplays potential for punishment in ethics investigation"

The Office of Congressional Ethics in April released its findings and flagged several potential violations of federal law and congressional rules, related to Grayson's management of the hedge fund.

After the rocky start to the MSNBC interview, Reid attempted to move the interview along with further questions about the investigation's findings, such as a marketing document that bears Grayson's name, photo and credentials.

But that only made the exchange more explosive.

"So what? If you Google my name, you'll see a lot of pictures of me," Grayson said. "That doesn't mean I created those pictures." 

"You are completely misinformed and you're spreading lies," Grayson continued, adding: "Why do you feel compelled to spread these lies?"

Reid fired back: "I feel compelled to read from a 74-page ethics report, which is, sir, about you."

Grayson's main Democratic opponent in Florida's contentious U.S. Senate race quickly pounced on the fiery interview.

The campaign for fellow U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, shared the video in an email to reporters and accused Grayson of "trying to bully" Reid.

Watch the full 8-minute interview here, via the Murphy campaign's YouTube channel:

[Last modified: Saturday, May 14, 2016 2:14pm]

    

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