So, how did this come about? Thanks to the miracle of eavesdropping, I'm told the phone conversation went something like this:
"Jerry, this is Kathy. Now that reporter got space in Arutz Sheva and told the whole story; and then Dan Brown went after us in ejp on this Zionism thing. We have to end this now!!"
A moment of silence. Then Manning: "I've got it. Why don't I say that the damn 'leakers' didn't hear me correctly. What I said was: 'I love Zionism. So let's move on to talk about something controversial!!' Yeah, that's it. No, too many people heard me."
"OK, let's put out another Briefing, we'll call everybody...everybody...ill-informed and malicious, and then we'll say we're Zionists and be done with it." "Do we have to?" "Yes."
Or, something like that.