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Did Alex Sink lie about debate-cheat flap?

When a make-up artist handed a phone with a campaign-aide's message to Alex Sink, a "no notes" rule was already being broken by the Democrat's campaign. Sink blamed aide/lobbyist Brian May for the problem and fired him.

But we wanted to know: What did Sink and the make-up artist talk about before she was handed the phone? Not much, Sink said this morning.

"She put this phone in my face and she said, 'I don't know who this is from' and I turned around and I looked and I said I … I couldn't tell, really, what it was,'' Sink said when questioned by a Herald/Times reporter.

But John King, a co-host of the debate, said on CNN Tuesday that CNN reviewed an audio clip that clearly reveals that the makeup artist alerted Sink about the message.

"We listened very closely to the audio,'' King said, "And the makeup artist, when she approached Alex Sink, said, 'I have a message from the staff.' And at that point they looked, it was on a cell phone... It was essentially advice after the last segment of the debate telling her if that question comes up again,
remember this, and be more aggressive when Rick Scott questions you.''

Who knows? King didn't produce the audio. Maybe there was a technical problem at CNN and someone mis-heard something. Maybe Sink didn't understand the question this morning (though she repeated a similar story when she went on deMSNBC's Christ Matthews).

In looking at the raw footage of Sink and the make-up artist, it sure looks like something was under discussion. But then, it doesn't look furtive, like Sink knew she was breaking the rules (yet again, maybe there's some Edgar Allan Poe genius to this purloined-letter strategy of hiding out in the open).

Sink is insisting she told the truth. The Scott campaign is insisting that she "cheated before she lied."

Regardless, something's not adding up; note the pregnant pause and the 'oh-last-night-at-the-debate?' response when I ask her about the discussion this morning with the make-up artist.