On KSFO, NewsMax's Kessler repeated Buchanan false claim about Clinton family's 9-11 accounts

On the July 13 broadcast of San Francisco radio station KSFO's The Lee Rodgers & Melanie Morgan Program, NewsMax chief Washington correspondent Ronald Kessler accused Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) of “pathological lying” and, as evidence, falsely claimed that Sen. Clinton “made up this story that Chelsea [Clinton] was actually at the World Trade Center when the bombs -- the planes hit [on September 11, 2001]. She's going to Starbucks, she was jogging around, she heard the crash, she saw the smoke, oh my God, isn't that scary.” Kessler went on to assert that Chelsea Clinton later contradicted her mother's account by writing in Talk magazine that on that day she “was sleeping over at a friend's house on the East Side of New York. She watched it all on TV.”

Kessler attributed this information to The Extreme Makeover of Hillary (Rodham) Clinton (Regnery, May 2007), written by Bay Buchanan, a Republican strategist and senior adviser to presidential hopeful Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO). In the book, Buchanan describes Sen. Clinton's story about her daughter as “fictitious.” However, as Media Matters for America has noted, Buchanan's claims are inconsistent with both Hillary and Chelsea Clinton's statements about that day.

Indeed, in the interview that Buchanan refers to in the book, Sen. Clinton did not say her daughter was jogging near the World Trade Center on the day of the attacks. To the contrary, during that interview on the September 17, 2001, edition of Dateline NBC, Sen. Clinton said that Chelsea “was going to go around the towers”:

CLINTON: She'd gone, what she thought would be just a great jog. She was going to go down to Battery Park, she was going to go around the towers. She went to get a cup of coffee and -- and that's when the plane hit.

JANE PAULEY (host): She was close enough to hear the rumble.

CLINTON: She did hear it.

PAULEY: And to see the smoke in person, not on television.

CLINTON: No. Of course, Bill was in Australia. And, you know, he was so upset by what he was seeing on television that I didn't want to tell him that I couldn't find her until I found her. I told him that, you know, everything's fine, don't worry. But I couldn't do it with the level of assurance that I needed until I could find her a couple of hours later.

From the July 13 edition of KSFO's The Lee Rodgers & Melanie Morgan Program:

RODGERS: In Bay Buchanan's book about Hillary -- and she's talked about it on this program -- she makes the point that Hillary thinks she is entitled to be president, but it seems, of course, that prominent people running for the big job do have a -- a shelf life, and beyond that they start losing their appeal. That may be part of [John] McCain's problem. Anyway, Hillary's been a national figure now for about 15 years. You think maybe the shine is starting to come off that product?

KESSLER: Yeah, I -- I think people do want a -- a fresh start. They don't want to go backwards. And the other thing about Hillary, of course, is -- is her pathological lying, and that's going to come out. One wonderful example, which was -- which is in Bay Buchanan's book, and she generally has the best analysis of Hillary -- is after 9-11 she was on TV -- on the Today show [sic: Dateline NBC], and she made up this story that Chelsea was actually at the World Trade Center when the bombs -- when the planes hit. She's going to Starbucks. She was jogging around. She heard the crash. She saw the smoke. Oh my God, isn't that scary. And -- and Jane Pauley was empha -- empathizing with Hillary. And of course, this was all to engender sympathy. Well, a few months later, Chelsea wrote in Talk magazine what she actually was doing that day, and what she was doing was sleeping over at a friend's house on the East Side of New York. She watched it all on TV.

MORGAN: Um-hmm.

RODGERS: Far, far away.