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wThursday, July 17, 2003

Durbin says W.House pushed for disputed Iraq charge
A Democratic senator charged on Thursday that CIA Director George Tenet had told members of Congress that a White House official had insisted on including a disputed allegation about Saddam Hussein's push for a nuclear weapon in a presidential speech.

The allegation by Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin was quickly denounced by White House spokesman Scott McClellan, who called it "nonsense" in the latest cross-fire between the Republican White House and Democrats on Capitol Hill over the issue.

Durbin told ABC's "Good Morning America" program that Tenet had told the Senate Intelligence Committee in a closed-door session on Wednesday that a White House official had pushed for including a line about Iraq's attempt to get uranium from Africa in President George W. Bush's State of the Union speech last January.

"He certainly told us who the person was who was insistent on putting this language in which the CIA knew to be incredible, this language about the uranium shipment from Africa. And there there was this negotiation between the White House and the CIA about just how far you could go and be close to the truth," Durbin said.

McClellan denied the charge and pointed out that Durbin opposed the war.

"I think that characterization is nonsense. It's not surprising coming from someone who is in a rather small minority in Congress that did not support the action that we took," he said.
I voted for Dick Durbin, that makes me cool. He's definitely one of my favorite Senators I like watching on C-Span (Feingold, Kennedy, Kerry, McCain, Harkin, Boxer, and Byrd being the others...)

posted by Matthew Carroll-Schmidt at 11:53 AM

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