Veep writer: We heard a rumor about Sen. Klobuchar 'a million times'

You’ve already heard about Sen. Klobuchar’s poor treatment of staff including her tendency to explode at people and throw things around the office. The stories help explain why she had the highest staff turnover rate of any Senate office from 2001 to 2016. Things reportedly became so bad that Sen. Harry Reid stepped in to speak to her about it in 2015. But even as all of this has circulated there have been rumors that there was more to come. No one would say what the more was only that it was worse and that it was weird.

Today, we may finally know what the rumors were about. According to a writer for Veep, a joke about a staffer shaving her female bosses’ legs was based on rumors the writers heard on Capitol Hill about Sen. Klobuchar. Veep’s showrunner, David Mandel, tweeted out a clip of the joke in question Monday:

Mandel told Slate the joke came from repeated rumors he and his writing staff heard on a field trip to Washington, DC:

“It is a well-known rumor that we were told a million times by millions of people,” Mandel said of the leg-shaving story…

Mandel explained that when he first took over as the program’s showrunner, he took some of the writing staff on a trip to D.C. for research purposes. Mandel says that he met with Klobuchar for lunch at the time and that she was “fantastic.” (Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who plays the show’s lead, was also spotted having lunch with Klobuchar in the Senate Dining Room in 2015.)

The leg-shaving tidbit came up after that meeting. “Any time I brought her up [with people in D.C.], someone would tell us that story as a rumor,” Mandel noted.

Mandel says the writers actually tried to turn the alleged leg-shaving incident into a scene but couldn’t find a way to make it work. It was just too extreme and ridiculous to play as real. Mandel seems to think that’s one reason to believe it’s just a rumor. Slate asked Klobuchar’s office for comment and they said it was false and added it was “ridiculous.”

I’ll admit I too struggle to imagine a scenario in which a Senator would ask a staffer to do this. That seems doubly true for a Senator publicly for being nice. But look at this way: There’s evidence to support the idea Klobuchar is one of the worst bosses in DC and has been for well over a decade. When you look at it that way, maybe it’s not so far-fetched after all.