Carly Fiorina continues to insist that a non-existent video shot at Planned Parenthood definitely exists, one that shows “a fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking, while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.” In the meantime, BuzzFeed News discovered that a charitable organization which Fiorina heads donated $18,000 in goods to an abortion fund.

Fiorina’s super PAC attempted to make a video that shows what she described, and did not quite succeed. On Meet the Press, Fiorina would not concede that she may have “exaggerated,” and insisted that the video as she described it does exist somewhere or other: “Not at all. That scene absolutely does exist, and that voice saying what I said they were saying — “We’re gonna keep it alive to harvest its brain — exists as well.”

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In an essay for Slate, Dahlia Lithwick calls Fiorina’s abortion video claim a new high-water mark in the annals of political lying:

Not even the most robust defenders of Fiorina’s defense can say much more than that some of the images grafted onto the sound bite might not be completely false. And yet there is still no word from Fiorina, her campaign, or her super-PAC to indicate that she misspoke, or misremembered, or confused some other video with a video about Planned Parenthood. There seems to be no place in the middle for Fiorina to just put out a statement saying, “Hey, I misspoke. Sorry.”

This is an extraordinary moment in the annals of political deception. No walk-back, no clarification, just a persistent insistence that a video that doesn’t exist and can’t even be manufactured in the underground labs of political deception is really out there but, like the Emperor’s new clothes, only the virtuous can see it. In Fiorina’s world and the world posited by Goldberg, if people want to believe the big lie about the kicking fetus and the brain harvesting badly enough, who are we to tell them it couldn’t have happened?

Adding to this exceptional moment in American history, BuzzFeed News discovered that Good360, which helps companies donate materials to nonprofits, and which Fiorina is the chair of, gave $18,022 in goods to the Abortion Access Network of Arizona in 2013.

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Fiorina’s spokesperson told BuzzFeed that Good360 is “agnostic on causes,” and that the only requirement for receiving donations is that an organization is a “qualified, legitimate charity,” but didn’t respond to follow-up questions about how Fiorina personally felt about heading an organization that donated to abortion funds.

However, if Fiorina had personally blocked a donation to a qualified nonprofit based on her own personal beliefs, that wouldn’t look so great either. So now we’re in a situation where someone who’s referred to abortion as “hideous” helpfully helped make abortions happen.

What a time to be alive. While we’re here, if you want to make a donation to the National Network of Abortion Funds — in Carly’s honor, maybe — that link is here.


Contact the author at anna.merlan@jezebel.com.
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Screengrab via NBC/Meet the Press