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Bush Falsely Claims Consistency on Leak Investigation

President Bush was asked on NBC’s Today Show about the leak scandal surrounding Karl Rove and other administration officials:

Matt Lauer: But does it worry you that [the prosecutors] seem to have such an interest in Mr. Rove?

Bush: I’m not going to talk about the case. I’ve been asked this a lot, my answer is consistent. The special prosecutor is conducting a very serious investigation — he’s doing it in a very dignified way, by the way — and we’ll see what he says.

In fact, Bush’s answers on the leak investigation have been inconsistent on at least two counts.

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First, when asked previously to comment on the leak investigation, Bush indicated he wanted to know the details about whether anyone leaked the identity of Valerie Plame. Now, he’s completely silent.

Listen, I know of nobody — I don’t know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I’d like to know it, and we’ll take the appropriate action. [9/30/03]

Second, Bush has been inconsistent in his standards for holding leakers accountable.

Q: Do you stand by your pledge to fire anyone found to have done so [leak the name of CIA agent]?Bush: Yes. [6/10/04]

Bush: I would like this [leak investigation to] end as quickly as possible so we know the facts, and if someone committed a crime, they will no longer work in my administration. [7/18/05]

(UPDATE: Crooks and Liars has the video.)

Also, it’s important to note that Bush said Fitzgerald was conducting his investigation in a “dignified way.” That rhetoric contrasts with Rove allies who have said of Fitzgerald’s office: “These guys are bullies, and they threaten you.” President Bush should ensure that his administration treats Fitzgerald in the same dignified way that his investigation has been conducted.