Yesterday, President Bush described Dubai Ports World’s announcement to sell its U.S. operations as a decision made by the company under pressure from Congress:
I’m sure that the decision by DP World was a difficult decision, to hand over port operations that they had purchased from another company. My administration was satisfied that port security would not have been undermined by the agreement. Nevertheless, Congress was still very much opposed to it.
The media has largely bought into that narrative. But according to Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, the White House instructed DP World to concede. Appearing yesterday on Fox News, Kristol said Karl Rove canceled the deal with a phone call on the night of March 8:
He made that veto threat then he went on the trip to India and went silent basically. Karl Rove calls the people in Dubai two nights ago and tells them pull the plug on the deal, and I think as a result, the president looks weak, frankly.