Days after charges were first made public, John Kerry’s campaign is beginning to respond to allegations the senator has lied for decades about being in Cambodia for Christmas in 1968, saying he was at or near the border but not actually in the country for the holiday.

As WorldNetDaily reported, the authors of the best-selling book “Unfit for Command,” which refutes many of Kerry’s war stories, claim that despite the senator’s 1986 speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate mentioning spending Christmas Eve in Cambodia, the candidate was never in Vietnam’s neighboring country.

“I remember Christmas of 1968 sitting in a gunboat in Cambodia,” said Kerry on the Senate floor. “I remember what it was like to be shot at by Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge and Cambodians, and have the president of the United States tell the American people I was not there; the troops were not in Cambodia.”

Kerry was referring to President Nixon, who was not sworn into office until 1969.

Fox News Channel’s Major Garrett reported on “Special Report with Brit Hume” yesterday:

“The Kerry campaign has been forced to admit errors in statements Kerry made in a 1979 Boston Herald article, and in a 1986 Senate speech … about vivid memories of his leading a Swift Boat into Cambodia and taking enemy fire on Christmas Eve 1968.”

Garrett’s segment included responses from John Hurley, the national director of Veterans for Kerry.

“I don’t know that anyone can actually say whether or not they were in Cambodia,” Hurley said.

“[It is a] very watery area. It is – there’s no sign that says welcome to Cambodia. It is – it is obviously dusk and getting darker, and so they were in those waters.”

FNC reported Kerry’s campaign also says he was in Cambodia on a different mission with Navy Seals, but can provide no date for that mission.

Stated Hurley: “He was five miles into Cambodia, but what’s happened is these two stories have gotten confused.”

Hurley says Kerry was simply mistaken about the date of his incursion.

“I think that he knows that he was under fire in Cambodia,” he said. “I think the date is what’s inaccurate, that it was just not Christmas Eve Day.”

John O’Neill, co-author of “Unfit for Duty,” is pleased Kerry’s people are beginning to respond to his charge.

“I understand that he is beginning, at least, to admit that he was never in Cambodia, for example, at Christmastime,” O’Neill told Fox. “Which was a complete lie that he told over and over and over again.”

Kerry spent four months in Vietnam as skipper of a Swift Boat before returning to the U.S. and becoming a vocal leader of the anti-war movement.

Related offer:

“Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry”

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