Barack Obama asserted during Wednesday night’s presidential debate that someone shouted “kill him” when the Democrat’s name was mentioned at a Sarah Palin rally.
But the head Secret Service agent at Tuesday’s Palin rally in Scranton, Pa., said: Never happened.
The Scranton Times-Tribune first reported the alleged incident on Tuesday in a story written by reporter David Singleton, saying that while congressional candidate Chris Hackett was addressing the crowd and mentioned Obama’s name, a man in the audience shouted “kill him.”
Other media outlets picked up the story, including ABC News, MSNBC, and The Associated Press, with most attributing it to the Times-Tribune.
During the debate Obama mentioned to John McCain “some of the rallies that your running mate was holding, in which all the Republican reports indicated were shouting, when my name came up, things like ‘terrorist’ and ‘kill him,’ and that your running mate didn’t mention, didn’t stop, didn’t say, ‘Hold on a second, that’s kind of out of line.’”
But Bill Slavoski, the agent in charge of the Secret Service field office in Scranton, was in the audience at the rally, along with an undisclosed number of other agents, and he said not one of them heard the comment.
“I was baffled,” he told the Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Times Leader after reading the Times-Tribune report.
He said the Secret Service conducted an investigation and could not find a single person to corroborate Singleton’s allegation.
“We have yet to find someone to back up the story,” Slavoski said. “We had people all over and we have yet to find anyone who said they heard it.”
Times-Tribune Metro Editor Jeff Sonderman said on Wednesday: “We stand by the story.”
But Slavoski insisted that Singleton was the only one to say he heard someone yell “kill him.”
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