McCain aides deny spreading 'Palin in a towel' rumours

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Washington, Nov 8 : Senator John McCain's top two aides during the presidential campaign have denied the anonymous accusations circulating in the press about his running mate and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

"The towel story categorically is not true," The Washington Times quoted Steve Schmidt, top former McCain campaign aide, as saying.

Newsweek had reported that at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., Palin had greeted Schmidt and Mark Salter, a fellow top campaign staffer, in her hotel room while "wearing nothing but a towel, with another (towel) on her wet hair."

Charlie Black, another top former campaign adviser and close friend of McCain, said that with the exception of the gist of reports about Palin having bought thousands of dollars worth of expensive clothes, the post election spate of stories citing the McCain team as angry and frustrated with Palin for being an ignorant spendthrift prima donna were all "a lot of ridiculous" falsehoods.

"McCain and his senior staff were happy with her performance and deny rumors to the contrary. McCain and we have great affection for her," he said on Friday night.

Rather than the McCain campaign, Black said, "the Republican National Committee went out and bought her clothes and some of those are going to be returned."

Schmidt also expressed shock, using an expletive, when told that some of the anonymous accusations against Palin in the press were being attributed to him.

Black and Schmidt said they didn't know who in the McCain campaign team was spreading false stories about Mrs. Palin.

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