GREENSBORO, N.C. — Elizabeth Edwards angrily confronted a key presidential campaign donor who provided financial help to her husband’s pregnant mistress in 2007, John Edwards’ former spokeswoman testified Wednesday.
Jennifer Palmieri said Edwards called her to a Davenport, Iowa, hotel room to help calm Elizabeth Edwards while she was arguing with campaign finance chairman Fred Baron and his wife, Lisa Blue, about the couple’s financial support for Rielle Hunter.
Palmieri, now the deputy communications director for President Barack Obama, broke down in tears while discussing her friendship with Elizabeth Edwards, who was battling fatal cancer.
Palmieri also testified that she distanced herself from the former Democratic presidential candidate after he acknowledged the affair with Hunter in an August 2008 television interview, but wasn’t truthful about their baby.
Palmieri said Blue admitted to Elizabeth Edwards that she had flown Hunter to Los Angeles for a shopping trip during the argument in October of 2007.
“You’ve got to hold your friends close and your enemies closer,” Palmieri quoted Blue as telling the enraged wife. Blue added that Hunter was a “loose cannon” who could have exposed the affair to the media, Palmieri said.
At the time, a tabloid was publishing an article about the affair, and Palmieri said the campaign was absorbed with keeping the story from crossing over into the mainstream media.