With the Iowa caucuses just days away, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) made the rounds on the Sunday talk show circuit, including appearances on CNN’s “State of the Union” and “Fox News Sunday.” But it was during an interview with ABC’s Jake Tapper on “This Week” that Paul got a bit heated when asked about a former longtime aide’s charges that the congressman had been a 9/11 “truther” — a believer in conspiracy theories about the U.S. government’s alleged involvement in the Sept. 11 terrorism attacks.
“That’s complete nonsense ... I never bought into that stuff and I never talked about it,” Paul said of the accusation made by former staffer Eric Dondero, who wrote in a blog post last week that Paul “engaged in conspiracy theories” surrounding the 9/11 attacks.
From Dondero’s post:
Ron Paul was opposed to the War in Afghanistan, and to any military reaction to the attacks of 9/11.
He did not want to vote for the resolution. He immediately stated to us staffers, me in particular, that Bush/Cheney were going to use the attacks as a precursor for “invading” Iraq. He engaged in conspiracy theories including perhaps the attacks were coordinated with the CIA, and that the Bush administration might have known about the attacks ahead of time. He expressed no sympathies whatsoever for those who died on 9/11, and pretty much forbade us staffers from engaging in any sort of memorial expressions, or openly asserting pro-military statements in support of the Bush administration.
“That’s just off the wall,” Paul said Sunday. He has described Dondero in the past as “a disgruntled former employee who was fired.”
The Texas Republican addressed another controversy that has dogged his campaign in recent weeks: the newsletters published under his name in the early 1990s containing numerous inflammatory and racist statements. Paul reaffirmed that he did not write the controversial articles or know who wrote them, but he acknowledged that they do call into question his management style.
“I don’t think anybody in the world has ever been perfect on management,” Paul said. “It’s a flaw, a human flaw ... I admit that I’m an imperfect person, but to paint my whole life on that is a gross distortion.”