On Wednesday, I wrote that Tom Campbell had made a demonstrably false statement when he denied receiving a political contribution from Sami Al-Arian, the former University of South Florida professor who subsequently pled guilty to conspiring to help associates of the terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad. As I reported, the Federal Election Commission database contradicted him.
Now, Campbell tells the Politico it was an “honest mistake”:
Campbell further muddied the waters on the Al-Arian issue this week by denying in an interview with the New Ledger website that he had ever taken any contributions from Al-Arian. Yet a Federal Election Commission report showed a donation of $1,000 on May 2, 2000, and of an additional $300 later reattributed to Al-Arian’s wife, Nahla. The candidate said Wednesday that he simply goofed.
“I apologize, but I made a mistake,” Campbell wrote. “I was aware that Sami Al-Arian had asked others to contribute to me, as I’ve stated plainly, so no one can claim I am attempting to hide it. I did not realize that Sami Al-Arian had contributed himself. It was an honest mistake, with no attempt to mislead.”