I'm not even remotely surprised by the gambit; as I privately emailed somebody last night, he had no other options than to claim that he didn't know the true situation (although that was before it came out that he came back and made a similar joke the day after). I also promised that I'd give the response a fair hearing; which means that I'm going to hold off until I hear what he actually says, because right now the response that's been leaked is both wholly inadequate and self-evidently incomplete.
But fair's fair; maybe he'll be believable when he says "I'm sorry." Which is a sentence completely missing from the response to date.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.