In an interview with the BBC on Friday, Rep. Michele Bachmann responded to criticism she’s received over her claims that President Barack Obama spent $200 million a day during a recent trip to India. Bachmann defended the statement, saying she was just quoting a newspaper and that she never said she believed it.
Host Emily Maitlis also grilled Bachmann about some of her more inflammatory statements, including whether Obama was anti-American.
ThinkProgress has a transcript of the exchange:
MAITLIS: You claimed that President Obama spent $200 million a day on a trip to India. It’s been roundly ridiculed as a quote.
BACHMANN: Actually, I didn’t claim that. I was quoting a newspaper out of India. And I only used that quote-
MAITLIS: Well why would you do that?
BACHMANN: Well number one it came out of the host country in India, a well-respected financial newspaper.
MAITLIS: And you believe that? $200 million dollars a day?
BACHMANN: Well, all I did was I quoted the newspaper. I quoted the newspaper and major national figures in the United States, many in the media had already been using that figure. […] The reason it was so important was that the president has a two-year history of out of control spending. […]
MAITLIS: You still believe that it was $200 million dollars a day?
BACHMANN: I didn’t say if I believe it or not. What I said was a I was quoting a newspaper.
Bachmann’s original statement came in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
“Well I think we know that just within a day or so the President of the United States will be taking a trip over to India that is expected to cost the taxpayers $200 million a day,” Bachmann said. “He’s taking two thousand people with him. He’ll be renting out over 870 rooms in India. And these are 5-star hotel rooms at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel. This is the kind of over-the-top spending, it’s a very small example, Anderson.”
“But don’t all Presidents take overseas trips, and stay in hotels where there’s security?” Cooper asked.
“Not, not, not at this level. We have never seen this sort of an entourage going with a President before. And I think this is an example of the massive overspending that we’ve seen, not only just in the last two years, but really in the last four,” she said.
Here’s video of Bachmann defending her claims: