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Clemens, Trainer Tell Congress Different Stories

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Clemens, Trainer Tell Congress Different Stories

Clemens, Trainer Tell Congress Different Stories

Clemens, Trainer Tell Congress Different Stories

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

New York Yankee Roger Clemens and his former trainer Brian McNamee both swore to tell the truth before testifying to Congress Thursday about alleged steroid use. Clemens says he never took the performance-enhancing drugs. His trainer says he gave them to the pitcher.

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Live from the NPR studios at Bryant Park in midtown Manhattan. This is THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT from NPR News. We are news, information and Valentine's Day.

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Hey, and I'm Rachel Martin.

It's Thursday, February 14th, 2008. That just brings a smile to your face -thinking about Captain Stubing.

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MARTIN: Oh, man. Gopher. I had such a big crush on Gopher.

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STEWART: Where Fred Grandy is a congressman. He's also a talk show host. He has a radio show as well.

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STEWART: Coming up later this show on this Valentine's day, an explanations of one of the world's most precious metal, gold, in case you're giving that gift this Valentine's Day. The science behind the ring on your finger.

MARTIN: And President Bush wants the House of Representatives to vote on a bill to provide telecommunications companies immunity in eavesdropping cases. This is greeted by a few shrugs around the BPP offices. We're like, what is this story? Why is it important? So we called a guy who's going to try to make us care.

STEWART: And your adolescent love life exposed. Just imagine it. A book gathers the angst-ridden journals of teenagers and pre-teenagers. It is apply titled "Mortified." The editor of the book will join us on the show. We'll also get your headlines in just a minute but first, here is the BPP's big story.

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Unidentified Man #2: So you solemnly swear that the testimony you've received - that you will give before this committee will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?

STEWART: Well, star pitcher Roger Clemens and his former trainer Brian McNamee both answer yes before they testified yesterday about Clemens' alleged steroid use at a House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform hearing. But someone wasn't telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. You see, Clemens kept saying different versions of this.

Mr. ROGER CLEMENS (Pitcher, New York Yankees): I'm not saying Senator Mitchell's report is entirely wrong. I am saying that Brian McNamee's statements about are wrong. Let me be clear. I have never taken steroids or HGH.

STEWART: And then Brian McNamee kept saying different versions of this.

Mr. BRIAN McNAMEE (Former Personal Trainer of Roger Clemens): When I told Senator Mitchell that I injected Roger Clemens with performance enhancing drugs, I told the truth.

STEWART: Now, I didn't take logic in college, but I'm pretty sure those two statements cannot both be true. A lot of the questioning centered around Andy Pettitte, Clemens friend and former teammate who said under oath last week that Clemens admitted to him he used steroids and human growth hormone. Clemens never accused Pettitte of lying but instead said Pettitte, quote, "misremembers." Clemens also acknowledged that his wife tried HGH with help from McNamee but insisted that he never did.

But there was no smoking gun. No Matlock moment where one guy broke down and admitted he was lying all along. So members of congress were left to question Clemens and McNamee's credibility to see who might be more prone to dishonesty. Democrats seemed more likely to go after Clemens, Republicans more out to question McNamee.

STEWART: Indiana Republican Dan Burton had McNamee in his sights. Burton read a series of previous statements in which McNamee denied involvement with steroids - each time getting McNamee to acknowledge that those past statements were lies. Then the Congressman said this.

Representative DAN BURTON (Republican, Indiana): This is really disgusting. You're here as a sworn witness. You're here to tell the truth. You're here under oath and yet we have lie after lie after lie after lie. You've told this committee and the people of this country that Roger Clemens did things that I don't know what to believe. I know one thing I don't believe and that's you.

And Clemens' credibility was also at issue, of course. Things got so nitty-gritty that a lot of the time was spent trying to figure out whether Clemens was at a party in 1998 where steroids might have been discussed. Clemens says he wasn't there, McNamee says he was.

STEWART: The committee tried to talk to Clemens' family's former babysitter who was allegedly there with Clemens but he was slow in getting her name to the committee. What turns out while Congress was waiting for Clemens to get back to them, he, Clemens, was meeting with that nanny. When Democratic Chairman Henry Waxman confronted him on the issue and asked who suggested the meeting, Clemens' lawyers rose in defense.

Representative HENRY WAXMAN (Democrat, California; Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform): Was it your idea?

Unidentified Man #3 (Lawyer of Roger Clemens): It was my idea to investigate what witnesses know.

Rep. WAXMAN: Okay.

Unidentified Man #3: Like any other lawyer in the free world does.

Rep. WAXMAN: Did you think, Mr. Clemens, it was a good idea to invite her to your home on Sunday after not seeing her for seven years?

Mr. CLEMENS: I was told on Friday night that you guys may want to talk to her and so…

Rep. WAXMAN: And you felt you should talk to her first? Well, I don't know if there's anything improper in this.

Mr. CLEMENS: Mr. Chairman, I didn't talk to her in years and I did everything I could to locate her to - if you guys had any questions for her and I did tell her to answer truthfully. I don't - again, I am not sure.

Rep. WAXMAN: Okay. Well, I don't know if there's anything improper in this, but I do know it sure raises an appearance of impropriety.

MARTIN: At the end of the day, as Waxman summarized Andy Pettitte's crucial testimony, Clemens interrupted.

Rep. WAXMAN: Evidently, Mr. Pettitte didn't believe what Mr. Clemens said in that 2005 conversation.

Mr. CLEMENS: Doesn't mean he was not mistaken, sir.

Rep. WAXMAN: Doesn't mean that but it doesn't…

Mr. CLEMENS: It does not mean that he was not mistaken, sir.

Rep. WAXMAN: Excuse me, but this is not your time to argue with me.

STEWART: So what does it all mean? We may never know with 100 percent certainty whether Roger Clemens ever did steroid. But the Department of Justice is likely to review everybody's testimony to see if perjury charges should be brought.

That's the BPP's big story. Now let's get some more of today's headlines.

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