Pennsylvania Dem Senator John Fetterman’s office is slammed for doctoring transcript
Democratic Senator John Fetterman’s office has been accused of smoothing over transcripts of his congressional appearances to hide the stroke victim’s struggles to articulate himself.
During a session about the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank Tuesday, Fetterman was filmed saying: ‘The Republicans want to give a work requirement for SNAP. You know, for a uh, uh, uh, a hungry family has to have these, this kind of penalties, or these some kind of word — working uh, require — Shouldn’t you have a working requirement, after we sail your bank , billions of your bank?,’ the liberal senator said during the session.
‘Because you seem we were preoccupied, uh when, then SNAP requirements for works, for hungry people, but not about protecting the tax, the tax papers, you know, that will bail them out of whatever does about a bank to crash it, ‘ he continued in the verbatim transcript.
But a release of Fetterman’s remarks shared by his office with Washington Post reporter Jeff Stein later was markedly different.
‘Shouldn’t you have a working requirement after we bail out your bank? Republicans seem to be more occupied with SNAP requirements for hungry people than protecting taxpayers that have to bail out these banks,’ the ‘official’ version, issued by Fetterman’s office, read.
Democratic Sen. John Fetterman’s office was slammed for doctoring the lawmaker’s congressional transcripts to make him sound coherent, after he suffered a stroke a year ago.
A Fox News Digital review showed Tuesday’s incident wasn’t the only time that the transcripts released did not match recordings of him actually speaking. Transcripts later released by his office revealed a clean, coherent version of his remarks.
Fetterman, who suffered a stroke a year ago, only recently returned to Congress after being hospitalized with depression. But his health has been called into question as he continues to struggle with cognitive issues during Senate hearings.
The most-recent ordeal was brought to light this week when Washington Post economics reporter Jeff Stein tweeted what Fetterman had asked Silicon Valley Bank ex-CEO Greg Becker.
‘Shouldn’t you have a working requirement after we bail out your bank? Republicans seem to be more preoccupied with SNAP requirements for hungry people than protecting taxpayers that have to bail out these banks.’
He later deleted the tweet and admitted that he had been provided the cleaned up quote from Fetterman’s office.
‘That was my fault,’ Stein wrote. ‘Though it captured his meaning, I deleted the tweet once some of the words in the quote were inaccurate.’
The video of the hearing revealed that the lawmaker’s words were more jumbled as the he stumbled over himself, muttering several ums and other filler words.
Conservatives suggesting that Fetterman was not capable of serving in Washington after seeing his attempt to grill the Silicon Valley Bank’s CEO Greg Becker
A Fox News Digital review showed the Tuesday incident wasn’t the only time that the transcripts released did not match recordings of him actually speaking.
When Fox News Digital conducted a review, they reported that there were other times his office had altered his remarks since his return in April.
Following his April 26 hearing, his office posted a transcript on the website.
‘I’m really excited about Whole-Home Repairs. Here in Pennsylvania, one of my friends, Nikil Saval in the Senate, shepherded it. And he got linked up with the Republicans and they actually created one of the first kinds of a program like this in the nation.
‘I come from a community here, in Braddock, Pennsylvania, where your home can go bad really quickly. And I’m really excited that we can take something like that, which is happening in Pennsylvania, and take it federal.’
But the recorded version of the Fetterman’s remarks were different than what is office had posted.
‘I’m really excited by it, because here in Pennsylvania one of my friends really [inaudible] it, Nikil Saval, he was one of the literally — quite literally — as hard left as a politician I’m aware of — you know — certainly in the Senate,’ Fetterman says. ‘Um, he really helped shepherd that. And he got linked up with the Republicans, and he actually created the first kind of a program like this in the nation, you know. And one of my colleague — Mr. Vance — talked about well if there’s a leak in the ceiling, what if you don’t have the money to fix that? What can happen to that, kinda things?
‘I come from a community down in Braddock, Pennsylvania, where there’s a lot of — your home can go bad quickly if you were having those kinds — so I’m a big — you know — I’m incredibly, I think I’ m excited that could take from pennsylvania and go federal.
In mid-April, Fetterman returned to Washington after spending almost two months in Walter Reed military hospital being treated for clinical depression.
Fetterman was released from the hospital at the end of March but went home to Pennsylvania as the Senate was on a two-week spring break.
He checked into Walter Reed on that day after weeks of what aides described as being withdrawn and uninterested in eating, discussing work or the usual banter with staff.
At the time, Fetterman was barely a month into his service in Washington and still recovering from the aftereffects of the stroke he suffered last May. He went to Walter Reed on the advice of the Capitol physician, Dr. Brian P. Monahan.
During his stay, his staff emphasized he was working, being kept briefed on the issue and in contact with them.
Fetterman declined to answer questions upon his return.
Fetterman returned to the Capitol in April after a 2-month absence to be treated for depression.
Fetterman suffered his stroke in May of 2022, days before Pennsylvania’s Democratic primary, but he still won the race handily.
The stroke, which nearly killed him, kept him sidelined for months from the campaign trail in his race against the Trump-backed Republican, Dr. Mehmet Oz, the former television personality.
The Democrat was able to win the office in part because of some creative trolling of Oz from his team, as the Republican spent decades living in New Jersey before his Keystone State Senate run.
His shaky debate performance – which highlighted his unusual speech patterns and auditory processing issues left over from the stroke – rattled some Democrats, as it gave Oz an opening to win.
But on election night, the race was called for Fetterman by 1am, with Oz conceding shortly thereafter.
Senator John Fetterman’s health: a timeline
May 15, 2022: Fetterman, then Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor and leading candidate in his state’s Senate Democratic primary, announced that he had suffered a stroke.
May 17, 2022: Fetterman accepts the nomination for Senate—which he wins by 32 points—from his hospital bed via a brief video.
June 7, 2022: Fetterman’s wife Gisele suggests that the lieutenant governor may not return to the campaign trail until July at the earliest.
August 8, 2022: After nearly three months recovering, Fetterman finally returns to the campaign trail with a packed rally in Erie.
October 25, 2022: While showing a consistent lead in the polls, Fetterman’s debate performance against Republican opponent and former television star Dr. Mehmet Oz sets off wild speculation and concern for his health.
November 9, 2022: Despite continued health concerns, Fetterman claims a resounding victory over Oz, beating Oprah’s former protégé by five points.
February 2, 2023: Reporters reveal the audio processing technology Fetterman needs to work in the Senate.
February 9, 2023: Fetterman is rushed to George Washington University Hospital after reports of feeling ‘lightheaded.’ He was released the next day after showing no signs of a new stroke.
February 16, 2023: Senator Fetterman checks into Walter Reed Medical Center for clinical depression. He continues to work from the hospital but is rarely seen.
April 17, 2023: Fetterman is back to work in Washington after being released from the hospital at the end of March.