Thursday, March 09, 2006

Liar Liar, Pants On Fire
Vanity Fair: Bush Had Ties to Abramoff


Convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff says President Bush knew him well enough to joke with him about weightlifting. "What are you benching, buff guy?" Abramoff said Bush asked him. The president has said he doesn't know Abramoff.

Abramoff said he finds it hard to believe Bush doesn't remember the 10 or so photos he and members of his family had snapped with the president and first lady.

"He (Bush) has one of the best memories of any politician I have ever met," Abramoff wrote in an e-mail, according to Vanity Fair's April issue being released this week. "Perhaps he has forgotten everything. Who knows?"..."

Look for the full interview in the next issue of Vanity Fair.
Anyone who thinks Bush was not in on the Abramoff cash bonanza probably believes Lyndee English was the only culprit torturing detainees at Abu Ghraib.


Karen Zipdrive said...

You gotta wonder how many more scandals Bush can be implicated in before someone says "enough."
It's hard to believe that the BushCo strategy of creating diversions by layering one scandal over another in rapid succession has worked so effectively.

dusty said...

The PDF of the full interview is out. ITs a trip..he is still whining about going to he should be driven around town in an open car with flowers thrown at his feet and we should worship him for singing like a fat canary.

Karen Zipdrive said...

Yeah, Abramoff was used to the best of the best treatment. He had money, power and influence.
Now that he's an indicted criminal, he's whining like a little girl.
I hope that little girl turns out to be the biggest tattletale the government has ever heard.

Lulu Maude said...

There's a big article this month in Harpers... the Case for Impeachment. Can't wait to read it.

Karen Zipdrive said...

Here's more on Abramoff:

Reuters ignored Abramoff's claim of ties to Bush, Rove, McCain

A March 8 Reuters article on former Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff's disclosure to Vanity Fair magazine that he "worked closely with many top Republicans, despite their claims to the contrary" ignored Abramoff's claims, in the same magazine article, of close ties with President Bush, White House senior adviser Karl Rove, and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), all of whom have denied personal connections to Abramoff.

Excerpts of the Vanity Fair article, appearing in the magazine's forthcoming April issue, are available on the magazine's website. According to those excerpts:

An insider tells [contributing editor David] Margolick that Abramoff blames competing Republican lobbyists and Arizona Senator John McCain -- with whom Abramoff says he's had a contentious relationship -- for his downfall. Abramoff tells Margolick that McCain staffers deliberately humiliated him, doling out embarrassing e-mails to the press.

"Mr. Abramoff flatters himself," Mark Salter, McCain's administrative assistant, tells Margolick. "Senator McCain was unaware of his existence until he read initial press accounts of Abramoff's abuses, and had never laid eyes on him until he appeared before the committee."

Abramoff says, "As best I can remember, when I met with him, he didn't have his eyes shut. I'm surprised that Senator McCain has joined the chorus of amnesiacs."


[Abramoff discussed his relationship with] President Bush, who claims not to remember having his picture taken with Abramoff. According to Abramoff, at one time, the president joked with Abramoff about his weight-lifting past: "What are you benching, buff guy?"

Reuters reported that in the Vanity Fair article, Abramoff "complains that many of those who used to work closely with him now claim that they never knew him," but made no mention of Abramoff's claims of ties to Bush, Rove, and McCain. According to the Reuters article:

The magazine features photographs of Abramoff with former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former President Ronald Reagan, whom he met when he was president of the College Republicans.

Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman ate dinner at Abramoff's house and forced a Democratic appointee out of the State Department for him, Vanity Fair said.


Abramoff also said Montana Republican Sen. Conrad Burns was especially cooperative.

"Every appropriation we wanted we got," he said. "Our staffs were as close as they could be."

Spokesmen for Burns and DeLay were not immediately available for comment.

By contrast, a March 8 Associated Press article reported that Abramoff "says President Bush knew him well enough to joke with him about weightlifting." The AP article also noted that, according to Vanity Fair, "Rove's relationship with Abramoff was deeper" than the White House has previously acknowledged, and that "Rove dined several times at Abramoff's former restaurant in Washington, Signatures, and was Abramoff's guest in the owner's box of the NCAA basketball playoffs a few years ago, sitting for much of the game at Abramoff's side." A separate March 8 AP article was devoted entirely to Abramoff's claim that McCain "deliberately humiliated him."