Baier did not report that aircraft requests "from Pelosi's people" included trips with Republicans

››› ››› TOM ALLISON

On Special Report, Bret Baier reported on emails from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office concerning requests for air transportation for congressional delegation trips, citing one email calling a lack of a certain type of plane "totally unacceptable" and saying, "The Speaker will want to know where the planes are." But Baier failed to report that according to ABC's The Note, the email in question "came in reference to planes available for bipartisan trips by congressional delegations -- not the speaker's personal travel" or that Republicans participated in several of the congressional delegations for which Pelosi's office requested transportation.

During the March 10 edition of Fox News' Special Report, host Bret Baier reported on emails from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office obtained and released by the conservative organization Judicial Watch concerning requests for air transportation for congressional delegation trips. Baier asserted that the "documents detailed demands from Pelosi's people for certain aircraft" and that one staffer wrote: "It is my understanding there are NO G5's [Gulfstream V jets] available for the House during the Memorial Day recess. This is totally unacceptable. The Speaker will want to know where the planes are." But Baier did not point out, as ABC News' Rick Klein reported in a March 11 post on the ABCNews.com blog The Note, the May 10, 2007, email, written by Kay King, director of the House's Office of Interparliamentary Affairs, "came in reference to planes available for bipartisan trips by congressional delegations -- not the speaker's personal travel." Indeed, Republicans participated in several of the congressional delegations for which Pelosi's office requested transportation.

In a May 8, 2007, email to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), Pelosi aide Mike Sheehy requested that the congressional delegations over the Memorial Day 2007 recess led by Pelosi, Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO), Rep. David Price (D-NC), and Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) be given the highest priority in allocating aircraft. Each of these congressional delegations included or reportedly included at least one Republican:

  • Pelosi's delegation to Greenland, Germany, England, and Belgium, included Rep. David Hobson (R-OH).
  • Reps. Phil Gingrey (R-GA) and Mike Conaway (R-TX) joined Skelton on his congressional delegation to Colombia and Panama.
  • A May 24, 2007, Associated Press article (accessed via the Nexis database) reported that "Republican Reps. Fred Upton of Michigan, Greg Walden of Oregon and Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee" and former Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert (IL) accompanied Boucher on his congressional delegation to Denmark, Germany, Belgium, and England.

From the March 10 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:

BAIER: Something else that appears complicated are Speaker Pelosi's multiple requests for military air travel. Transparency advocate Judicial Watch obtained internal documents by the Defense Department detailing attempts by its staff to accommodate Speaker Pelosi's numerous requests for military escorts and military aircraft, along with frequent last-minute cancellations and changes, costing taxpayers money. Other documents detailed demands from Pelosi's people for certain aircraft. One staffer writes, "It is my understanding there are NO G5s available for the House during the Memorial Day recess. This is totally unacceptable... The Speaker will want to know where the planes are." The same staffer reacts in a separate email to similar word that a certain type of aircraft would not be available. Quote, "This is not good news, and we will have some very disappointed folks as well as a very upset Speaker." Pelosi's office says the use of military planes are for security reasons and that she is very appreciative of the DOD's efforts to accommodate congressional requests.

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