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Condit Says Media isn't Helping Investigation

Aired July 6, 2001 - 18:13   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: Earlier tonight, we talked about the latest in the Chandra Levy case. We're going to go to CNN's Bob Franken now, live in Washington. There has been a statement issued by the Congressman.

Bob, do you have the statement? If so, what is he saying?

BOB FRANKEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I do, but I have to make it clear that this is not by the congressman. This is by the new person who's been hired to be his public relation's spokesman. A little bit of background: it is a reaction to comments, the statement that was released today by Linda Zamsky, the aunt of Chandra Levy.

Just very quickly, she is the 24-year-old former Washington intern, Chandra Levy is, who disappeared about nine weeks ago amid charges that there had been a romantic relationship between her and Congressman Condit. Charges that up until now the Congressman, through spokesmen, has denied.

Now, today Linda Zamsky put out a statement saying that Congressman Condit's lack of candor is hindering efforts to find Chandra, and went on to say "from my many conversations with her, it was clear without a doubt that they were involved in an intimate relationship. She described in detail some of their bedroom encounters."

And now I want to read to you, in its entirety, the response from the public relation's person who works for Congressman Condit. Her name is Marina Ayen (ph), and I quote -- "We understand that the Levy family is doing whatever it can to find Chandra. But Congressman Condit and anyone else can do is to tell the authorities who are looking for her what they know that can be helpful.

The Congressman and Mrs. Condit have done so on a number of occasions. Their complete willingness to do this with police investigators should not be confused with their decision not to fuel an already out of control media frenzy. They do not believe that making public statements on this subject, or attending media events, will do anything positive or constructive in the effort to locate Chandra."

Now, that is the response from the public relation's spokeswoman, Marina Ayen (ph), who is representing Congressman Condit. Of course Congressman Condit has been under pressure from many quarters to in fact do something publicly, to be interviewed, particularly on television -- something that his advisers have said he should not do at this point.

So that is the latest on this. And of course, what we still do not have is any solid information on the whereabouts of Chandra Levy.

HEMMER: And just to clarify, Bob, again, in that statement, nothing to go to what the aunt claimed today. That was issued in "The Washington Post" first and then through various media outlets after that.

FRANKEN: No, and what they are doing, is that they're saying when these things come up that all this is is a peripheral, irrelevant kind of media frenzy that has nothing to do with the investigation. Condit's side is arguing that this is a distraction from the effort to find Chandra Levy.

HEMMER: OK, Bob. Keep us posted. Bob Franken, working the story in Washington tonight. Bob, again, thanks to you.

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