Andrea Mitchell Says Kerry was "Lied To, Misled"

While appearing on MSNBC's Hardball on Friday December 9, NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell, reacting to a clip of John Kerry saying he would not vote to authorize the Iraq War if he had it to do again because, in his words, he was "misled about the intelligence," Mitchell responded by claiming, "It's true they were lied to, misled, however you want to characterize it."Returning from a commercial break, a clip from that morning's Imus in the Morning was shown in which John Kerry was asked by Don Imus, "Knowing what you know now ... would you still vote to authorize the President's use of force?" Kerry responded, "Absolutely not, not a possibility," and then said that what changed his mind is, "the intelligence, above all. We've learned the ways in which we really were misled about the intelligence, and the intelligence that we believe, if you had that knowledge today, we wouldn't even have a vote."To her credit, as Mitchell began her response, she raised the story first reported by the Washington Post on April 27, 2004 on how little interest senators showed in viewing intelligence on Iraq before the war. The story had reported, "No more than six senators and a handful of House members read beyond the five-page National Intelligence Estimate executive summary, according to several congressional aides responsible for safeguarding the classified material." Mitchell declared, "I still wonder why only six senators read that National Intelligence Estimate in October of '02, why more senators didn't make it their business to try to learn that."But then, adding credibility to the current liberal spin on pre-war Iraq intelligence, Mitchell claimed, "It's true they were lied to, misled, however you want to characterize it. There was a lot of cherry-picking going on, and the reports that were given to them were pretty darn selective..."A complete transcript of the exchange from the December 9 Hardball appears below:

Don Imus: "Knowing what you know now, would you, knowing what you know now, today, December 9 or whatever it is, 2005, would you still vote to authorize the President's use of force?"John Kerry: "Absolutely not, not a possibility."Imus: "What's changed your mind since, from the last time?"Kerry: "Everything. Well, the intelligence, above all. We've learned the ways in which we really were misled about the intelligence, and the intelligence that we believe, if you had that knowledge today, we wouldn't even have a vote."Chris Matthews: "We're back with NBC's Andrea Mitchell, Chuck Todd of The Hotline, and Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard. Andrea, what did you make of that? That was pretty clear."Andrea Mitchell: "It was pretty clear, except I still wonder why only six senators read that National Intelligence Estimate in October of '02, why more senators didn't make it their business to try to learn that. It's true they were lied to, misled, however you want to characterize it. There was a lot of cherry-picking going on, and the reports that were given to them were pretty darn selective, but you have to-"Matthews then interrupted Mitchell and changed the subject to Donald Rumsfeld's view on withdrawing troops from Iraq.