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The president isn’t going to get involved in how much press coverage is given to a scandal involving a woman who allegedly provided $300-an-hour prostitutes to Washington’s elite and has been indicted by a grand jury on federal racketeering charges, according to a spokeswoman.
But it was appropriate that one of the “customers” identified in the investigation resign his government position, said White House spokesman Tony Snow.
His answer came in response to a question from Les Kinsolving, WND’s correspondent at the White House, who asked, “Do you, as presidential press secretary, believe that The Washington Post, in its two extensive stories, gave too much coverage to Deputy Secretary of State Randall Tobias or not?”
“I am here to speak for the president, and I guarantee you he is not going to have an opinion, either. The Washington Post can – has its own editorial judgment, and we will let it stand,” Snow said.
“Following up on that, Ambassador Tobias … told ABC News that he used Deborah Palfrey’s escort service for massages, not sex. Do you believe that many American citizens believe that?” Kinsolving asked.
“I don’t know. Look, the guy – I’ve told you what I’m going to say. We’re saddened, and he resigned, and it was the proper thing to do,” Snow said.
Another reporter also questioned Snow: “You said – back to Randall Tobias. If, as he says, he just got massages, why is it the proper thing for him to do to resign?”
“Well, he apparently thought that it was the proper thing to do, and I will not get into details because I don’t know them,” Snow said.
Palfrey, who insists she ran a legal escort service, is accused by federal prosecutors of providing prostitutes to a wide range of clients in Washington and she’s been indicted by a federal grand jury on racketeering counts.
She has announced that she has turned her telephone records, listing numbers from which clients called her, over to ABC for an upcoming series of reports.
According to the Post report, her company was called Pamela Martin & Associates and her newsletters advised workers how to avoid all kinds of trouble “in a business said to specialize in erotic fantasies.”
“One never quite knows where evil, i.e., the vice squad is lurking in this business,” the Post reported an e-mail to workers in 1995 said. “The misogynists get a real kick out of surprising (shocking) you girls, when you give them the opportunity!!! . . . Therefore, you are to lock, double lock, triple lock all doors!!! . . . Figure it out, before they ‘get cha’!!!”
She first threatened to sell the telephone records, then announced she had handed them over to ABC.
Tobias, who was deputy secretary of state, resigned last week just a day after confirming to ABC he patronized the Pamela Martin firm. The network said Tobias reported he called the company “to have gals come over to the condo to give me a massage.”
Tobias, 65, was director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development. He previously held a top job in the Bush administration overseeing AIDS relief, in which he promoted abstinence.
The network has said more revelations are being planned, because the list includes the names of some “very prominent people.” The network said there also are a number of women with “important and serious jobs” who worked as escorts for the firm.
Palfrey told the Post she sees herself as an entrepreneur being railroaded by an all-powerful government. Meanwhile, prosecutors have emphasized her 1992 guilty plea to attempted felony pimping. She launched her Washington business while serving probation in California.
The U.S. Postal Service and Internal Revenue Service launched an investigation in 2004. Palfrey allegedly conducted her business by e-mail and telephone, and reportedly told “subcontractors” to mail her fees to her in California.
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