New texts messages released from the investigation into former New York Democrat Governor Andrew Cuomo show that a top former political adviser to then-Democrat presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg thought that primary accuser of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Christine Blasey Ford, was “looney tunes.”
Josefa Velásquez, senior reporter at The City, caught the message that Lis Smith sent to officials in the Cuomo administration amid the governor’s scramble to save his political career.
“While former presidential candidate and current Sec. of Transportation Pete Buttigieg was publicly supportive of Christine Blasey Ford, his campaign advisor Lis Smith was calling her ‘looney tunes and the height of Me Too overreach’ in a text exchange with Cuomo admin officials,” Velásquez wrote.
Velásquez highlighted a tweet in 2019 from Buttigieg on the matter where Buttigieg wrote: “Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is a profile in courage. One year later, I still believe her.”
While former presidential candidate and current Sec. of Transportation Pete Buttigieg was publicly supportive of Christine Blasey Ford, his campaign advisor Lis Smith was calling her "looney tunes and the height of Me Too overreach" in a text exchange with Cuomo admin officials. https://t.co/yEBqB1hUfR pic.twitter.com/FkP83MWTAp
— Josefa Velásquez (@J__Velasquez) November 29, 2021
The report noted that Smith was a former strategist that worked on Cuomo’s 2018 campaign and alleged that she played a role in defending Cuomo against allegations that were being made against him and attacking women who went public.
The City added:
In text messages to senior advisers and allies, Smith bragged that MSNBC host Katy Tur was using her talking points about Cuomo live on air.
“I’m texting w Katy Tur,” Smith wrote to the group. “Katy is saying my spin live. Like verbatim.”
Smith and the group appraised how the story was moving in a favorable direction after the governor held his first press briefing in March in which he said he was embarrassed and apologetic, but would not resign.
Smith was hesitant for the public to know about her involvement in helping the governor and his team, telling Cuomo’s advisers it would be bad for her “credibility” to answer a reporter’s question.
“It was a big national story, you know, big fire storm and it was not something that I felt like I needed to be in the middle of,” she told investigators.
“There’s a big difference between being in the middle of it and behind the scenes and being in the middle of it in a newspaper. So I do think that’s different.”
The report shed further light on the alleged role that CNN host Chris Cuomo played in defending his brother during the height of the scandal which has led to calls by some for him to be removed from the network.
“Chris Cuomo pressed to take on a greater role in crafting his brother’s defense, including phoning into strategy calls and using his media contacts to keep tabs on reporters pursuing stories about the governor,” The New York Times reported. “At one point, he even ran down a secondhand tip that another woman accusing the governor of unwanted advances at a wedding was lying.”