Senator Leo Housakos, reporter Althia Raj spar on Twitter over leak allegations
Auditor General Michael Ferguson tells committee he wasn't to blame for leak of spending audit
A well-known Parliament Hill reporter named a high-profile senator as the source of last year's Senate spending audit leak, starting off a lively spat on Twitter Tuesday evening.
Before diving into Tuesday's quarrel, here's a quick refresher:
- A Senate committee is trying to figure out how journalists received the damaging report on senatorial expenses before its public release last year. (Members of the committee argue the leak violated their parliamentary privilege)
- In December, Huffington Post bureau chief Althia Raj wrote an article naming then Senate Speaker Leo Housakos as the source of the leak. Her story cited two anonymous sources.
- Earlier today, Auditor General Michael Ferguson took questions from a Senate committee where he repeatedly defended himself and his office against accusations they were to blame for the leak
And that's where things picked up on Tuesday.
Raj jumped in on Twitter saying Ferguson is right to deny the blame, because she says Housakos is the source.
Senate report leak wasn't from my office, <a href="https://twitter.com/OAG_BVG">@OAG_BVG</a> Michael Ferguson says. He's right. It was <a href="https://twitter.com/SenatorHousakos">@SenatorHousakos</a>. <a href="https://t.co/vRlsDzs5FD">https://t.co/vRlsDzs5FD</a>—@althiaraj
The Conservative senator was quick to defend himself, accusing Raj of a smear campaign.
I was one of first victims of leaks,. along w/ Senators Cowan, Carignan. And now a victim again thx to <a href="https://twitter.com/althiaraj">@althiaraj</a> 's smear job. <a href="https://twitter.com/OAG_BVG">@OAG_BVG</a>—@SenatorHousakos
Althia fired back saying Housakos was "lying."
.<a href="https://twitter.com/SenatorHousakos">@SenatorHousakos</a> You're lying. I wish you had more respect for the institution you work in and your colleagues.—@althiaraj
Housakos then demanded she provide an apology to her readers.
Reporters shouldn't lie, should stick to the facts. <a href="https://twitter.com/althiaraj">@althiaraj</a> has none. Just false accusations. Should apologize to rdrs. <a href="https://twitter.com/express001">@express001</a>—@SenatorHousakos
Neither has responded since around 5 p.m. ET.