Waas at ‘National Journal’ Reports Bush Urged Cheney to Lead Charge Against Joe Wilson

By: E&P Staff

President Bush told the special prosecutor in the Plame/CIA leak case “that he directed Vice President Cheney to personally lead an effort to counter allegations made by former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, ” Murray Waas writes today in his latest revelation for the National Journal.

Waas, who has broken a string of stories on this case, attributed the information to “people familiar with the president’s statement.”

He adds: “Bush also told federal prosecutors during his June 24, 2004, interview in the Oval Office that he had directed Cheney, as part of that broader effort, to disclose highly classified intelligence information that would not only defend his administration but also discredit Wilson, the sources said.

“But Bush,” Waas continues, “told investigators that he was unaware that Cheney had directed I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby, the vice president’s chief of staff, to covertly leak the classified information to the media instead of releasing it to the public after undergoing the formal governmental declassification processes.

“Bush also said during his interview with prosecutors that he had never directed anyone to disclose the identity of then-covert CIA officer Valerie Plame, Wilson’s wife. Bush said he had no information that Cheney had disclosed Plame’s identity or directed anyone else to do so.”

Dana Perino, a spokesperson for the White House, declined to comment.

A senior government official familiar with the matter told Waas that in directing Libby to leak the classified information to Miller and other reporters, Cheney said words to the effect of, “The president wants this out,” or “The president wants this done.”

The complete, lengthy article can be found at www.nationaljournal.com.

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