Multiple mainstream media outlets accused Lynnette “Diamond” Hardaway and Rochelle “Silk” Richardson of giving false testimony to Congress regarding a payment they received from the Donald Trump campaign in November 2016, but the two offered one important fact to rebut the charge.
In an appearance before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday concerning social media bias, Democrat Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas asked the duo, “Have you ever been paid by the Trump campaign?”
Hardaway replied, “No, we have never been paid by the Trump campaign.”
Lee repeated the question and received the same response.
“Not $5, not $100…? What about $1,274.94? the congresswoman continued, which Hardaway once again denied.
Lee’s questioning time ran out, but she laid the foundation for New York Democrat Rep. Hakeem Jeffries to follow up later in the hearing.
“I think you stated on the record today, at least three times, ‘We were not paid by the Trump campaign.’ Is that correct?” Jeffries asked.
“That is correct,” Hardaway answered.
“Are you aware that your testimony today is under oath subject to the penalty of perjury?” he next asked, prompting Richardson to chime in, “Yes, we are aware of that.”
Jeffries then referred to a Federal Elections Commission filing by the Trump campaign showing the two had received a payment for $1,274.94 for “field consulting” on Nov. 22, 2016.
“We are familiar with that particular lie. We see that you do look at fake news,” Richarson said. “What should have happened is, you should have come to our mouths to see what exactly happened, before a false narrative was put out there about the $1,274.94.”
Richardson then explained that the amount in question represented a reimbursement for plane tickets that the two purchased to fly from New York to Ohio, so they could participate in the “Women for Trump” tour.
Richardson added that they did not ask to be reimbursed, but Lara Trump had directed the campaign to do so. They were merely paid back for their out of pocket expenses.
Among the outlets that stated or implied the two lied were The Hill, ABC News, CBS News, and a news producer from MSNBC.
The Hill headlined, “Diamond and Silk say under oath they weren’t paid by Trump campaign; FEC filings say otherwise.”
ABC News tweeted, “Diamond and Silk repeatedly tell congressional committee that ‘we have never been paid by the Trump campaign.’ FEC records show Diamond and Silk were paid $1,274.94 for field consulting work.”
CBS News first headlined, “Pro-Trump social media stars Diamond and Silk offer inaccurate testimony under oath,” but later changed its headline to, “Pro-Trump social media stars Diamond and Silk testify under oath.”
MSNBC producer Kyle Griffin tweeted, “Rep. Hakeem Jeffries confronts Diamond and Silk with the FEC record showing the duo were paid $1,274.94 for field consulting work despite them repeatedly telling a congressional committee that they’ve never been paid by the Trump campaign.”
A main focus of Diamond and Silk’s overall testimony on Thursday was their charge that their Facebook page and those of other conservative sites are being suppressed by the social media giant.
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