Liberal news website Mother Jones on Tuesday morning published audio from a private February discussion between Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and aides about the Kentucky Republican's 2014 re-election campaign and potential Democratic challenger Ashley Judd.
The audio and transcripts—billed as a "secret tape" by Washington Bureau chief David Corn—show the McConnell camp discussing how to use the actress' religious beliefs and history of depression against her in a potential campaign.
Judd announced March 27 that she would not be a candidate for the Senate, citing family obligations.
But how did the website get its hands on the audio?
McConnell's team believes the tape was obtained illegally and has asked the FBI to investigate.
"Senator McConnell’s campaign is working with the FBI and has notified the local U.S. Attorney in Louisville, per FBI request, about these recordings," Jesse Benton, McConnell's campaign manager, said in a statement. "Obviously a recording device of some kind was placed in Senator McConnell’s campaign office without consent. By whom and how that was accomplished presumably will be the subject of a criminal investigation.”
Benton added, "We’ve always said the Left would stop at nothing to attack Sen. McConnell, but Watergate-style tactics to bug campaign headquarters are above and beyond."
Mother Jones didn't immediately respond to Yahoo News' requests for comment.