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23 July 2003 -- Niger uranium flip-flop "because the CIA didn't say take it out this time"

23 July 2003

Niger uranium flip-flop "because the CIA didn't say take it out this time"

*EPF301 07/23/2003
Transcript: White House Daily Briefing, July 23
(President's schedule, reports of White House comments on Ambassador Wilson, Saddam Hussein/al Qaeda link, Iran/al Qaeda, Uday and Qusay Hussein/display of bodies, Niger/uranium issue/President's credibility, American troops stretched too thin?, Medicare meeting, Iraq reconstruction/contributions, President's meeting with President of Argentina, Iraq's WMD/questioning of prisoners, Liberia) (8590)

Q: All right. Just one quick question on the uranium-Niger thing. Can you just explain in a summary fashion as possible how it is that the President's foreign policy advisors and speechwriters took this claim out of the speech in October, after being warned about it by the CIA, and then put it in, in the State of the Union?

MR. McCLELLAN: That's correct, the CIA said, take it out, and it was taken out. And as we've already said previously, if they had said it on the State of the Union, we would have, as well. But Steve Hadley made it very clear yesterday in the briefing -- it was an extended briefing, he was very straightforward about it -- that he didn't have a recollection of it at the time. But when it came to his attention, he was very straightforward and disclosed that to you all publicly so that we could share that information with the public. It was important to do that, and we've been very straightforward about this all along.