A Republican operative in Alabama says Karl Rove asked her to try to prove the state’s Democratic governor was unfaithful to his wife in an effort to thwart the highly successful politician’s re-election.
Rove’s attempt to smear Don Siegelman was part of a Republican campaign to ruin him that finally succeeded in imprisoning him, says the operative, Jill Simpson. Simpson speaks to Scott Pelley in her first television interview, to be broadcast on "60 MINUTES" Sunday, Feb. 24, at 6:00 on WIBW-TV.
Simpson spoke to Pelley because, she says, Siegelman’s seven-year sentence for bribery bothers her. She recalls what Rove, then President Bush’s senior political adviser, asked her to do at a 2001 meeting in this exchange from Sunday’s report.
"Karl Rove asked you to take pictures of Siegelman?" asks Pelley.
"Yes," replies Simpson.
"In a compromising, sexual position with one of his aides," clarifies Pelley.
"Yes, if I could," says Simpson.
Simpson says she found no evidence of infidelity despite months of observation. Rove would not speak to "60 MINUTES", but elsewhere has denied being involved in efforts to discredit Siegelman.