FCC Commissioner: We Were Told to Keep 'Obamaphone' Fraud Case Under Wraps
It rose to the national spotlight when a video went viral of a woman saying minorities should vote for President Obama because he was giving them free phones.
The Federal Communications Commission program, officially called Lifeline and enacted in 1985, was meant to help provide low-income families with cell phone access by giving them a discount on their phone bill.
But since its expansion to wireless service in 2008, the program has been accused of being plagued with waste, fraud and abuse.
Earlier this month, the FCC announced it would seek $51 million in damages from California-based Total Call Mobile, a cellphone company that allegedly defrauded Lifeline of nearly $10 million.
According to Republican FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, he and other commissioners were told not to mention the case until the day after a vote to expand it to include subsidized broadband Internet.
A FCC spokesperson said the timing was completely coincidental, but Paj does not believe that explanation.
He said on "Fox and Friends Weekend" that the timing of the dates would be "one of the most remarkable coincidences I've ever come across in Washington."
"If this had become public before that March 31 vote, it would have been a very public different debate, I would like to think."
Watch the full segment above, and read more here.