Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Nikki Haley lies about date her chief of staff knew about affair claims

Haley says Pearson learned of rumor on May 22, but previous reports say at least May 13

Posted by Chris Haire on Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 4:06 PM

Sarah Palin can see the future. I don't know what it is — the librarian glasses, the pitbull lipstick, the you-betcha accent — but something has given her the power of clairvoyance.

See, according to Nikki Haley's newly released memoir, Can't is Not an Option, the former Alaska governor and publicity moppet predicted that "the powers that be" were coming for Haley shortly after giving the future South Carolina governor her endorsement in early May 2010.

In the closing graph of the ninth chapter in the memoir, Palin reportedly tells Haley:

Be careful. Once they see that you have strength and that you might win, their number one goal is going to be to bring you down. And they will never stop.

It's not exactly "beware the Ides of March," but it's an effective narrative device. After all, the following chapter in Can't is Not an Option, deals with the day that Haley's opponents struck back — just as Caribou Barbie predicted.

Titled "Blood Sport," the tenth chapter begins:

There was something in the air that Saturday night. We were having yet another debate, this time in Greenville. It was May 22, seventeen days before the primary. The debates were coming twice, sometimes three times a week now. But something was different about this one. Taylor and Becca said later that they noticed a certain "spring in the step" of some of my opponents, a kind of giddy anticipation. What I didn't know then but Tim [Pearson] knew soon after the debate ended was that a rumor was in the air. An ugly rumor. A rumor directed to me.

And exactly what was that ugly rumor that Haley and her future chief of Tim Pearson had yet to hear? Well, that Haley had an affair with FITSNews blogger and former Gov. Sanford spokesman Will Folks.

"I saw Tim huddling briefly with an AP reporter. Then Tim, Michael, and I got in the car to drive back to Columbia. On the way, we stopped at a restaurant to get some dinner. When we were seated, Tim told Michael and me what he had been talking to the AP reporter about. A blogger who had once worked for Governor Sanford and for me was going to post on his blog Monday morning that he and I had an affair several years earlier. Tim said the AP reporter had wanted to talk to me after the debate and [Tim] wouldn't let him. But the story was coming, he said, and we would have to respond."

It's an interesting story, and while I have no reason to doubt that Pearson and an unnamed AP reporter — Jim Davenport perhaps — had talked after the May 22 debate. But it's a flat out lie that Tim Pearson first learned about the rumor on May 22.

According text messages released by Folks himself, Pearson knew about the Will-and-Nikki rumor on May 13. Not only that, in those texts Pearson acknowledges that the Free Times' Corey Hutchins had already contacted other legislators for comment.

Hutchins himself has previously reported that he discussed the rumor with Pearson on May 14, and Pearson had publicly admitted that the text messages are genuine.


Since we know that Pearson knew of the rumors on May 13 — and not May 22 — as Haley states, you have to wonder when exactly did Nikki Haley learn of the rumor. Did she truly hear about them for the first time on May 22 as she claims or did she know before? To believe the former, you have to admit that Pearson sat on the news of the rumor for nine days, and, well, that's impossible to believe — but then again what isn't in this reality-challenged anecdote.

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