CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – In recordings posted by The Overton Report on Tuesday, a voice identified as Councilman Harry Griffin can be heard railing on his fellow City Council members, in an expletive-ridden rant contradictory to his recently released apology letter.
The Overton Report, a conservative social media account, posted the recordings to its Facebook page after Griffin released a letter trying to distance himself from “divisive” groups.
Griffin found himself in hot water this week after agreeing to speak at a rally, which he said he believed was against City Council’s vote to raise taxes. After “the theme of the event had changed significantly,” Griffin says he realized that the “event was not something [he] supported in any fashion” and withdrew.
The recordings tell a different story. In one, the voice identified as Griffin can be heard saying “it’s probably not in my best interest to come out there for this one, but I do not want you to change anything about your document at all.”
In another recording, a man asks Griffin what to tell all of the groups expecting Griffin to speak. Griffin says to tell them that he won’t be there because he has to work, reasoning that nobody will pry for more information. He makes no mention of opposing any of the groups’ views.
In Griffin’s letter, he conceded that agreeing to speak before “properly vetting” the event was a mistake. However, if the recordings are to be believed, Griffin was more informed about the event’s underpinnings than he led on:
“I read the whole [document]…and at that point I said, you know what? G– D—, there’s a lot of good sh– in this. I said wow, I mean, this is some poignant stuff. This is some resonating stuff.”Voice said to be Harry Griffin
A second mistake mentioned by Griffin in his letter was his tendency to let his emotions get the best of him and speak out of turn. Griffin said that “words matter, so when [he] speaks, [he] needs to understand that [his] words are taken seriously.”
For this he apologized to many, including his colleagues on Council “who [he] respects tremendously.” Another point contradicted by the recordings:
“There’s times in my life, there’s times in my political career, where I’ve had to bite my tongue a little bit… You know, I have to do it in every meeting. You know, I wanna tell some of those guys that they’re [expletive] suckers and that I f—— hate them. And that I wish I could see them out on the street.”Voice said to be Harry Griffin
The Overton Report said that contradictions like these are disappointing, but not surprising, noting “[Griffin’s] a politician, what could you expect?”
News 2 reached out to both Griffin and The Overton Report, but has not received responses from either party.
We also reached out to members of Charleston City Council, many of whom were taken aback by what we told them.
We are awaiting a statement from the City of Charleston and will provide updates as new details emerge.
Listen to the recordings below: