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PolitiFact gives Wasserman Schultz a Pants on Fire

Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz found herself on the defensive about comments she made to Jewish supporters on the eve of her party’s convention in Charlotte, N.C. The topic: comments she said were made by Israeli ambassador Michael Oren about Republicans and Israel.

The debate about what the South Florida congresswoman said began Monday, after Michael Barone at the conservative Washington Examiner wrote about her comments in front of a group of Jewish Democrats. Here is the exact quote from the Examiner, including a typo and an incomplete phrase in quotes at the end:

"National Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz spoke ans was warmly received as she extolled Obamacare (Democrats are using the term) and said she has heard Israel’s Ambassador Michael Oren say, in her words, ‘what the Republicans is dangerous for Israel.’"

On Tuesday morning, the Examiner’s Philip Klein gave a more detailed explanation of her comments, which occurred at a training session for Jewish Democrats. "As she was wrapping up her remarks, she claimed that, ‘We know, and I’ve heard no less than Ambassador Michael Oren say this, that what the Republicans are doing is dangerous for Israel,’" Klein wrote.

The Examiner also wrote that Wasserman Schultz said Republicans were "undermining Israel’s security by suggesting that the United States and Israel don’t have anything other than a unique and close and special relationship. It undermines Israel’s security to its neighbors in the Arab world and to its enemies. And we need to make sure that the fact that there has never been and will never be daylight between the two parties or the support for Israel that we have in the United States, that that is conveyed to Jewish Americans across this country. That’s our responsibility. It’s the responsibility we’re asking all of you to take on."

On Tuesday afternoon, the ambassador reacted to the Examiner report. "I categorically deny that I ever characterized Republican policies as harmful to Israel," the statement from Oren read. "Bipartisan support is a paramount national interest for Israel, and we have great friends on both sides of the aisle."

Wasserman Schultz then went on Fox News Tuesday evening. Fox News repeated her quote about Oren and she responded:

"I didn’t say he said that," she said. Read more about her claim that earned her a Pants on Fire from PolitiFact.