Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Thursday her office was slow in shooting down Internet rumors about massive federal government ammunition purchases because she didn’t think the reports — and the news outlets such as Drudge Report that carried those reports — were credible.
“We just couldn’t believe anyone would believe those allegations,” Ms. Napolitano said told a House committee on Thursday, responding to questions from a congressman.
Reports that the department was buying billions of rounds of ammunition started circulating months ago on the Internet, and were covered by Forbes, among other news outlets. The Drudge Report linked to a number of the reports.
The department eventually explained that the contract it signed was consistent with the number of rounds needed over a long period of time.
“Let me be as clear as I can be: This was a five-year strategic sourcing contract for up to those 1-point-whatever billion rounds,” Ms. Napolitano said.
Lawmakers have said that questions over the ammunition purchase dominated some of their town hall meetings, with constituents during Congress’s two-week spring break.
Asked why it took her department so long to explain the situation, after it was reported by Forbes and the Drudge Report, Ms. Napolitano said she distinguished between those two.
“I don’t know if I would put Forbes and Drudge in the same sentence,” she said.