In any case, the breathless story caught the attention of the usual suspects, who saw something of a conspiracy in the placement of such a secure line in the office of Dennis Ross, who is someone disliked by some in the Anti-Israel Lobby.
The only problem: The Obama Administration says it's not true. Tommy Vietor, the spokesman for the National Security Council told me, "Dennis Ross doesn't have a classified phone." And Victoria Nuland, the spokeswoman for the State Department, where Ross still serves as unpaid adviser, told me in an e-mail, "He has not been issued any kind of bat phone, red phone, funny phone, etc."
Now, of course, they could be playing me (though their motivation would be obscure), so the next time I'm at the Washington Institute is I'm going to go into Ross's office and pick up all his telephones and say, "Connect me to the President," and if Obama comes on to any of the lines I'll know that the Administration isn't telling the truth.
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