In 2007, Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colorado), who was then a congressman, was being pursued by a group of anti-war activists and so-called 9/11 truthers. The protests against Udall included a large group going to a town hall meeting where activists peppered Udall with questions and came away with a heavily edited video that appeared to show Udall agreeing there was “some evidence” the World Trade Center towers might not have collapsed as a result of an Al Qaeda attack.
Now, that out-of-context footage is threatening to rear its head in Udall’s re-election campaign, which is one of the most closely watched races in the country.
On Monday, a conservative tipster sent Business Insider a 23 second excerpt of the 2007 footage where Udall can be heard saying, “There’s some evidence that there were charges planted in the buildings.”
This comment would seem to be an agreement with thoroughly debunked theories that a controlled demolition led to some of the damage on September 11th.
According to Udall’s campaign Republican operatives have been attempting to circulate the video in an attempt to hurt his re-election bid. Colorado is one of 8 key battleground states as Republicans fight to take control of the Senate and polls show Udall in nearly a dead heat with his GOP rival, Cory Gardner.
The clip highlighted by the conservative tipster was excerpted from a slightly longer video posted by the activist group that filmed the original footage in 2007. Though the activists were upset Udall would not call for an investigation into their claims, it is clear they hoped viewers would think Udall was concurring with some of their arguments.
In the description Vflog.com posted with the footage on YouTube in 2007, they said the clip showed that Udall “admits himself that there is ‘some evidence’ that explosives were used.”
When Business Insider contacted the Udall campaign about the video, they provided us with audio of the town hall as well as a transcript. Looking at the quote in context, it is clear Udall was paraphrasing some of the claims referred to by members of the audience as they shouted at him when he made the comment that led the activists to claim he was agreeing with some of their ideas and appears to have attracted the attention of conservatives.
Udall campaign spokesman Chris Harris claimed he was aware of multiple attempts by Republicans to disseminate the footage. He described this as a sign of their “desperation” to defeat Udall.
“Like all Americans, Mark has never forgotten what it was like when al Qaeda attacked us on 9/11. That’s why his number one priority has always been keeping America safe,” Harris said. “For Washington Republicans to exploit victims’ memories by manipulating audio of Mark when he was standing up to truthers is abhorrent and reeks of desperation.”
View the portion of the transcript with the quote about “evidence” in context below:
AUDIENCE MEMBER: My question is, are you familiar with the growing 9/11 truth movement and are you willing to ask for a new investigation in the events of 9/11?
UDALL: This woman mentioned of course yesterday was 9/11 and we should never forget, obviously 9/11. I know I spent part of my day in remembrance as well yesterday. There, she points out, there is a growing — as she describes it — a group that thinks that, this was what, an inside job and there were explosives planted inside the buildings and stuff. Ma’am, I have to tell you…
AUDIENCE: (INAUDIBLE, YELLING ADDITIONAL POINTS)
AUDIENCE: Inside job and I’ve talked about the scientific evidence that points to (INAUDIBLE) official story.
UDALL: (SUMMARIZING POINTS JUST YELLED) Ok, that there’s some evidence that were charges planted in the buildings that brought them down.
UDALL: (MORE SUMMARIZING OF THE YELLING) And has there been other any other suggestion who planted those charges.
AUDIENCE: (INAUDIBLE) investigation, something about the official story not coming out.
Immediately after that exchange Udall did, however, appear to say he hoped investigators would “exhaust every possibility to understand what happened whether there was a structural incident.”
He concluded by definitively saying there was no evidence of any “kind of pre-placed charges in the building” and that “we were attacked on 9/11:”
UDALL: I would tell you this, I think we should exhaust every possibility to understand what happened whether there was a structural incident (INAUDIBLE) National Institute of Standards and Technology which we should all be very proud, it’s one of the federal (INAUDIBLE) driving our economy. They have been charged with investigating what happened to the steel beams and why the buildings came down. In my readings of their reports, I’ve seen nothing to suggests that there was that kind of pre-placed charges in the building. When it comes time (INAUDIBLE) asked the question. I have to tell you, my wife, public service as a private citizen, when conspiracy theories surface I almost always go first to the stupidity theory? and I think that the key point here is regardless how the buildings came down, we were attacked on 9/11, we were attacked.
Watch the short video sent to Business Insider by the conservative tipster and longer version posted by Vflog below:
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