From a hearing of the House Commerce Committee yesterday on the Rudman report and security concerns at the Department of Energy:

Rep. Fredrick Upton (R-Mich): Now, [Energy] Secretary [Bill] Richardson, you said in your opening statement that the Rudman report was hard-hitting and thorough. Yet you told the Los Angeles Times last week, "I want to see evidence from the malcontents he's been talking to." . . .

Sec. Richardson: A lot of malcontents went to Sen. Rudman. I want those malcontents to come to me and tell me where these problems are. . . . Warren Rudman: May I just have one brief response? There was something said there I cannot leave. I'm not sure the secretary meant it the way it came out. At least I hope he didn't. We didn't have any volunteers come to see us. We didn't have a bunch of malcontents, you know, coming in from New Mexico and Oakland and Ohio and saying, "Let me tell you about this horrible place that I work."

We carefully selected who we invited to come in through an intense session . . . behind closed doors. And a lot of those folks, I will tell the secretary, were fairly high-level folks in your department or across the country -- former secretaries, former deputies, current people with high positions. No, they weren't malcontents. They were people who had deep concerns. And I want to just correct that mischaracterization.