"Democrats are charging that the GOP made up a fake messaging memo that purports to be from Democrats as a way to undermine the party's message at the last minute. The memo was circulated to reporters -- including this one -- by a spokesman to House Minority Leader John Boehner. Politico reported on the memo and posted a story which the Drudge Report featured prominently.
"The memo is a fake," said Kristie Greco, a spokesperson for Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.). "It's an under-handed and unethical attempt to distract from the health care debate. If opponents of health insurance reform had a credible policy alternative they wouldn't have to resort to nefarious games."
Several anonymous Democratic aides similarly told Talking Points Memo's Christina Bellantoni that the memo was a trick."
"Politico has since pulled the memo, leaving Drudge to link instead to a page that reads "UPDATE: Democrats challenge authenticity of 'doc fix' memo."
The right-wing blog Big Government, however, still has it up as evidence that Democrats intend to mislead the American people about the cost of the bill."
UPDATE 3/19 5:20pm: Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) just read from the memo on the House floor. And Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) responded by ripping him and demanding his source.
"What they're doing is producing fake memos," he said.
"That memo that he read from has no source. He will not return to the microphone to tell us what it was because he took something that was created by the opponents of health care -- and there are a whole lot of them, mostly paid for by the health insurance industry -- and came to the rostrum with a fake document," said Weiner.
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) interrupted. "Parliamentary inquiry," she yelled.
"I don't yield for that," said Weiner, continuing. "There is no reluctance to talk about the real CBO score: $1.2 trillion in savings for the American people. That's the fact. That's nothing we're hiding from."
"Will the gentleman yield?"
"I will yield only if the person will tell us the source of the document."
A chaotic back-and-forth broke out until Weiner regained the floor.
"Ladies and gentlemen, what you saw just now is a microcosm for this debate: A real piece of legislation that for a year we've been working on and a fake document that they won't even give a source for," he said.