(GREENSBORO, N.C.) — John Edwards’ presidential campaign staff staunchly denied a National Enquirer report that he had a pregnant mistress, but when they drew up an affidavit so Edwards could put his denial in writing, the candidate refused to sign it, a former campaign spokesman testified Thursday.
Mark Kornblau, who is currently the spokesman for U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, was the latest witness in a series of political pros who worked on Edwards’ campaign for the presidency from 2006 to 2008.
Kornblau worked as Edwards’ national spokesman and issued a strong denial that succeeded in keeping the Enquirer‘s story about Edwards’ pregnant girlfriend Rielle Hunter from being picked up by the mainstream news media.
Having the story spread, Kornblau said, “would be a terrible outcome for Mrs. Edwards. I believed it to be untrue. Thirdly, it would be damaging to the campaign.”
In an attempt to convince the Enquirer to not run the story, Kornblau had an affidavit drawn up in which Edwards denied the affair and denied paternity of Hunter’s child. But Edwards refused to sign it, he said.
In a later conversation with Kornblau, Edwards hinted that Hunter’s pregnancy may have been the result of a fling with another campaign staffer, Andrew Young.
“He told me it was not physically possible that he was the father,” Kornblau testified. He added, “I have a vague recollection of him saying, ‘Do you think it could be Andrew’s child?'” he said.
Edwards is charged with violating campaign finance laws by using more than $1 million from wealthy donors to hide his pregnant girlfriend. He could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.
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