“During a discussion on civil rights leader Rev. Joseph Lowery’s address at Coretta Scott King’s funeral, CNN aired a video clip of part of Lowery’s remarks, in which he mentioned the failure to find WMDs, cropping out 18 seconds of applause and the standing ovation he received without indicating that the clip had been doctored.”
Criminally-indicted Rep. Tom DeLay “scored a soft landing Wednesday as GOP leaders rewarded him” with Duke Cunningham’s former seat on the Appropriations Committee. “DeLay also claimed a seat on the subcommittee overseeing the Justice Department, which is currently investigating an influence-peddling scandal involving disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his dealings with lawmakers.”
Exclusive new details about the photos of Abramoff with President Bush. Be the first to know — sign up for our newsletter The Progress Report, featuring research and analysis you can’t get anywhere else, delivered to your inbox each morning. Just fill out the form to the right.
ThinkProgress has obtained emails written by Jack Abramoff in which the fallen lobbyist personally describes his relationship with President Bush. They depict a relationship far more extensive than has been previously reported.
The emails written by Abramoff was addressed to Kim Eisler, the national editor of Washingtonian magazine. The Washingtonian recently reported on the existence of several photographs showing Abramoff and Bush together. Eisler is also the author of Revenge of the Pequots, a book about tribal politics for which Abramoff was interviewed.
In the emails, Abramoff describes meeting Bush “in almost a dozen settings,” and details how he was personally invited to President Bush’s private ranch in Crawford, Texas, for a gathering of Bush fundraisers in 2003. Abramoff did not attend, citing a religious observance.
Abramoff emailed Eisler about his invitation to Crawford and his decision not to attend:
NO, IT WAS THAT I WOULD HAVE HAD TO TRAVEL ON SATURDAY (SHABBOS). YES, I WAS INVITED, DURING THE 2004 CAMPAIGN. IT WAS SATURDAY AUGUST 9, 2003 AT THE RANCH IN CRAWFORD.
The White House has continually downplayed the relationship between Abramoff and President Bush. At a January 26 press conference, President Bush said “You know, I, frankly, don’t even remember having my picture taken with the guy. I don’t know him.”
But according to Eisler, Abramoff told him that the two have met almost a dozen times, shared jokes, and spoke about details of Abramoff’s family:
HE HAS ONE OF THE BEST MEMORIES OF ANY POLITICIAN I HAVE EVER MET. IT WAS ONE IF [sic] HIS TRADEMARKS, THOUGH OF COURSE HE CAN’T RECALL THAT HE HAS A GREAT MEMORY! THE GUY SAW ME IN ALMOST A DOZEN SETTINGS, AND JOKED WITH ME ABOUT A BUNCH OF THINGS, INCLUDING DETAILS OF MY KIDS. PERHAPS HE HAS FORGOTTEN EVERYTHING. WHO KNOWS.
Check back with ThinkProgress for more details about Abramoff’s relationship with Bush and other high-profile figures.
UPDATE: Mr. Eisler has informed us that he sent us two sections of one email he recieved from Jack Abramoff, rather than two seperate emails.
Vice President Dick Cheney, yesterday:
I think we’ll look back several years from now and see that 2005 was really a turning point, in the sense the progress we made…in terms of training Iraqi forces, because we’ve now got a large number of Iraqis taking the lead various places around the country from a security and military standpoint. [Cheney, PBS Newshour, 2/7/06]
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Peter Pace, yesterday:
“Pace said only one Iraqi army battalion is capable of fighting without U.S. help. That is the same number as in September, when U.S. commanders disclosed that the number of such highly trained battalions had dropped from three to one, prompting criticism from lawmakers.” [AP, 2/7/06]
Rev. Joseph Lowery appeared on Tucker Carlson’s show last night to respond to right-wing criticisms that his remarks inappropriately politicized Coretta Scott King’s funeral. Carlson told Lowery his remarks “seemed like bad manners” and were “very uncomfortable.” Lowery stood his ground. Watch it:
CARLSON: It’s not hard to hear that [your remarks] and not draw the obvious conclusion that that’s an attack on President Bush, which of course is your right to do, and I think completely fair. But again, it seemed very uncomfortable to say something like that in a funeral with the president right there. It seemed like bad manners.
LOWERY: Well, I don’t think so. I certainly didn’t intend for it to be bad manners. I did intend for it to — to call attention to the fact that Mrs. King spoke truth to power. And here was an opportunity to demonstrate how she spoke truth to power about this war and about all wars.
And I think that, in the context of the faith, out of which the movement grows, we have always opposed war. We’ve always fought poverty. And we base our — our argument on — on the faith, on the fact that Jesus taught us. He identified with the poor. “I was hungry; you didn’t feed me. I was naked; you didn’t clothe me. I was in prison; you didn’t see about me.” He talked about war. He talked about he who lives by the sword.
So I’m comfortable with the fact that I was reflecting on Mrs. King’s tenacity against war, her determination to witness against war and to speak truth to power.
Transcript continues below: Read more
Mort Halperin, a National Security Council official under President Clinton, says Gonzales’ sworn testimony to Russ Feingold in January 2005 “constitutes a crime and the Judiciary Committee should refer the matter to the Justice Department and ask for the appointment of a special counsel.”
Karl Rove’s effort to use President Bush’s warrantless domestic surveillance program as a partisan wedge issue is failing badly.
Yesterday, Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM) spoke out:
A House Republican whose subcommittee oversees the National Security Agency broke ranks with the White House on Tuesday and called for a full Congressional inquiry into the Bush administration’s domestic eavesdropping program.
The lawmaker, Representative Heather A. Wilson of New Mexico, chairwoman of the House Intelligence Subcommittee on Technical and Tactical Intelligence, said in an interview that she had “serious concerns” about the surveillance program.
What does President Bush think about Heather Wilson:
You know, in Washington there’s a lot of — there can be a lot of noise, a lot of shrill voices, people who are — people up there sometimes are the ones who like to divide people into camps and call names and point fingers. They think that’s effective. And it’s such a wonderful contrast to have the quiet dignity and the competence of Heather Wilson in the United States Congress. It is so good and refreshing, and good for our democracy, and good for our country, that people like Heather are willing to serve.
The thing I appreciate, Heather, is she is there for the right reason: to serve the people, to represent the people of New Mexico…I’m proud of the fact that Heather puts our country first, that she understands the importance of our nation and what it stands for.
Karl Rove is a genius.
Leading a House of corruption, living in an apartment of corruption.