White House explains what Bush knew when

Dec. 6, 2007 at 6:41 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- A White House spokeswoman was grilled Thursday about what U.S. President George W. Bush knew when he first learned that Iran's nuclear program had been halted.

White House press secretary Dana Perino said Mike McConnell, national intelligence director, told Bush the new information may cause a change in an assessment of the Iranian nuclear weapons program, but that analysts had to review the data before making a final judgment. Her comments late Wednesday seemed to contradict Bush's comments Tuesday when he said McConnell "didn't tell me what the information was."

During her news briefing Thursday, Perino was peppered with questions about what Bush actually found out in August when he was first told.

"What I said is that McConnell told the president, if the new information turns out to be true, what we thought we knew for sure is right," she said, when asked if Bush were being candid.

She said Bush "didn't get any of the details of what the information, in terms of what the actual raw intelligence was."

"I can see where you could see that the president could have been more precise in that language, but the president was being truthful," she said.

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