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Danielle Smith says audio recordings leaked on Twitter are 'fake'


Danielle Smith says recordings posted to social media this weekend in which someone claiming to be from her campaign berates a Calgarian are "fake."

Twitter user Cassandra Raugust posted audio of the phone calls to her account on Sunday evening.

In one, a woman identifying herself as "Dale from the Danielle Smith campaign" thanks her for her recent donation and invites her to a "donor appreciation dinner" on Monday.

In response, Raugust can be heard saying she would never vote for Smith.

"I have asked (that) my name be removed from your call list and I certainly didn’t donate. I didn’t give you my phone number and I would really like these calls to stop."

The woman then responds by saying she can give Raugust the number for complaints, if she’d like.

Raugust interrupts to say she already has the number and has been "harassed" when using it.

"I think I’d prefer if you’d just take my name off your list," Raugust says.

"We’ll call you again, thanks so much. Hope you’re in a better mood. No communists are allowed," the woman replied.

Raugust shared the audio to Twitter at 8:55 p.m.

Later, at 9:01 p.m., she shared audio of what she says is a voicemail left on her account.

In the message, the caller, who again identifies themself as "Dale from the Danielle Smith campaign," says they will remove Raugust’s phone number from their list

"And actually, as it turns out, communists are not allowed at the event tomorrow night so please don’t come as nobody will want to see you there," she says. "They also don’t want no vaccine.

"Hope you have a wonderful evening and please don’t ruin the lives of any other people."

CTV News has reached out to Raugust for an interview, but have yet to receive a response.

Danielle Smith responded to the leaked audio on Monday, saying the caller did not work for her campaign.

"This is clearly a malicious prank from someone trying to pretend to be on our campaign," said Smith.

"This is fake. Our call centre uses a publicly accessible campaign number, not a private number. It’s a good idea to refrain from jumping to conclusions as dirty tactics seem to be common these days."

She adds that her staff are assessing next steps and will meet tomorrow on whether they will file a complaint with Elections Alberta or not.

The complaint number provided by "Dale" actually belongs to a restaurant called Osteria De Medici in Calgary's Kensington area, which has denied any involvement in the calls.

The owner tells CTV News he has received many calls from people wanting to complain, and wants the calls to stop.

CTV News has reached out to the UCP for comment, but have not yet received a response.

Mount Royal University political science professor Duane Bratt says when he initially heard the calls, he thought they sounded legitimate.

"I'm looking at this and I'm thinking there's only a handful of possibilities: either the Smith team did this, (or) maybe one of the other UCP campaigns did that to try to embarrass the Smith campaign," said Bratt.

"Maybe the NDP or a like-minded group did this to embarrass the Smith campaign, or this is just a lone wolf, pranking a person."

However, Bratt believes if this was a competitor of Smith’s making the calls, they would have been more elaborate.

"If I was doing disinformation against Smith, I would have gone a lot further than what the call did," said Bratt.

"If I really wanted to attack them, I would have made it racial, I would have made it more vulgar. I would have gone much deeper than what was there, if I was trying to really embarrass the Smith team."

Elections Alberta communications officer Megan Narsing says she can’t confirm whether complaints have been made to Elections Alberta.

"Elections Alberta is unable to comment about allegations that we may or may not have received or investigations that we may or may not be conducting," she said.

"This is in accordance with the disclosure provisions in the Election Act."

Narsing says any findings from an investigation would be made public.

"We publish findings and decisions on the Chief Electoral Officer’s website when any investigation is concluded if an administrative penalty is imposed, a letter of reprimand is issued, or a request is received to publish from a person or organization who is the subject of the investigation," she said.

The UCP will elect a new leader to replace Jason Kenney on Oct. 6. Top Stories

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