Clemens, Trainer Tell Different Stories

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

BILL WOLFF (Announcer): From NPR News in New York, this is THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT.

(Soundbite of music)

RACHEL MARTIN, host:

Live from NPR Studios at Bryant Park in Midtown Manhattan, this is THE BRYANT PARK PROJECT, from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. We are news, information, Valentine's Day. Yeah, whatever. (Soundbite of song, "All by Myself")

Mr. ERIC CARMEN (Singer, Songwriter): (Singing) All by myself, don't want to be all by myself.

ALISON STEWART, host:

Oh, where is Eric Carmen now?

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: I'm Alison Stewart. By the way, in case you hadn't figured it out, Thursday February 14th, 2008.

MARTIN: I notice you're kind of in the spirit of things.

STEWART: I wore a red sweater. And, you know, I like the Valentine's Day. I even liked it when I was a single gal, before I was all hitched up.

MARTIN: It's all right. I'm just basically holding out for my own personal Lars. You know who Lars is?

STEWART: Yes.

MARTIN: Lars is married to Manoli. And Manoli is our engineer. And Lars just like stepped it up big time this year on Valentine's Day. Manoli walked in - no roses. No chocolate. Hello, look at my new Mac Air computer that Lars gave me this morning for Valentine's.

STEWART: It's pretty.

MARTIN: It's pretty glamorous. Does Lars have a brother?

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: On this Valentine's Day, we'll have a song from the BPP's musical essayist, Jill Sobule will weigh in a little bit later on. Also, a border dispute - nothing like a good, old fashioned border dispute between Georgia and Tennessee. It's coming to a head. That's right. These two states are in a bit of a tussle with each other over where their borders really are. And at the center of controversy: water.

MARTIN: And on this Valentine's Day, you might get a little candy. You might get a little flowers. You might get a little lucky, perhaps. But maybe you need help in the getting lucky department. But what happens if you are a devout Christian or somebody with some very serious and deep religious beliefs? We're going to talk to a woman who has started a business that has marital aids to help Christian couples open up about their sex lives. So we'll talk to her.

STEWART: It will be clean. I promise.

MARTIN: And I will walk you through the day's headlines in just a minute. But first, here is the BPP's Big Story.

(Soundbite of music)

Unidentified Man #1: Do 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 answered yes before they testified yesterday about Clemens's 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): Let me be clear. I have never taken steroids or HGH.

STEWART: And 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, if I remember my logic and reasoning seminars from college, I'm pretty sure those two statements cannot both be true. A lot of the questioning centered around player 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."

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. 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 those past statements were lies. Then the Congressman said this…

Representative DAN BURTON (Republican, Indiana): 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.

MARTIN: And Clemens' credibility was also at issue, of course. Things got so 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: Now committee tried to talk to Clemens' former - family's former babysitter, who was allegedly there with Clemens. But now he was slow in getting her name to the committee. It turns out while Congress was waiting for Clemens to get back to them, he, Clemens, was meeting with the nanny. When Democratic Chairman Henry Waxman confronted him on the issue and asked who suggested the meeting between the two, 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 #2: It was my idea to investigate what witnesses know…

Rep. WAXMAN: Okay.

Unidentified Man #2: …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 hadn'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: So what does it all mean? We may never know with 100 percent certainty whether Roger Clemens ever did steroids. But the Department of Justice is likely to review everyone's testimony to see if perjury charges should be brought.

STEWART: That's the BPP's big story. We'll get some analysis in just a minute when we talk to BRYANT PARK's sports guy, Bill Wolff. But first, let's get some more of today's headlines.

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