Brian Mulroney's voice cracked yesterday as he spoke about the impact that allegations against him have had on his family, a show of emotion he later said was triggered by the sight of giggling reporters.
In a press release posted on mulroneymediaroom.com - a website created by the Navigator public relations firm, which he has hired - he singled out CBC producer Harvey Cashore and Globe and Mail reporter Greg McArthur.
"They were carrying on like a pair of school children," Mr. Mulroney was quoted as saying on the website. "It just got to me."
Mr. Cashore and Mr. McArthur have been nominated for journalism awards in the past for stories about the cash payments Mr. Mulroney received from Karlheinz Schreiber that are now the subject of the public inquiry.
Both journalists vehemently denied laughing. Other journalists who were within a few feet of the two reporters supported their denials.
"I'm sitting right behind them. I didn't see these guys laughing at all," said Toronto Star reporter Richard Brennan.
As Mr. Mulroney's voice vibrated through the room yesterday, two of his public relations aides - Robin Sears and Dan Robertson - sat on a bench in the back, hunched over their laptops ensuring their message made it into the stream of online discussion.
In an interview, Mr. Sears said he could see the two reporters laughing at times during the morning testimony and tried to take pictures.
"I've got pictures, but I didn't get them precisely at the moment of giggle," he said.