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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

AP: On Rove's Behalf, the White House Issued Denials, Which Have Now Fallen Apart


WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House is suddenly facing damaging evidence that it misled the public by insisting for two years that presidential adviser Karl Rove wasn't involved in leaking the identity of a female CIA officer.

Rove told Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper that the woman "apparently works" for the CIA and that she had authorized her husband's trip to Africa to assess allegations that Iraq was trying to obtain yellowcake uranium for nuclear weapons, according to a July 11, 2003, e-mail by Cooper obtained by Newsweek magazine.

The e-mail is now in the hands of federal prosecutors who are hunting down the leakers inside the Bush administration who revealed the name of Valerie Plame to the news media.

The revelation about Rove prompted Democratic calls for President Bush to follow through on his promise to fire leakers of Plame's identity, and triggered 61 questions during two press briefings for White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

It was McClellan who provided the previous assurances about no role for Rove, but he refused to repeat those assurances Monday.

"Did Karl Rove commit a crime?" a reporter asked McClellan.

"This is a question relating to an ongoing investigation," McClellan replied.

McClellan gave the same answer when asked whether President Bush has confidence in Rove, the architect of the president's successful political campaigns.

The investigation was ongoing in 2003 when McClellan assured the public Rove wasn't involved, a reporter pointed out, but the spokesman refused to elaborate....