Sunday, February 12, 2006

Abramoff and Bush

Just one of the missing Abramoff pictures has surfaced. May 9, 2001 at the White House. Big deal. We KNOW that Abramoff met with Bush several times. Where are the rest of the pictures? Note sleazebag Rove on the right, Abramoff's really good pal.

Web Exclusive to
Lobbyist Jack Abramoff, circled in red, is visible to the left as President Bush greets Indian tribal leader Raul Garza, while Bush adviser Karl Rove, right, looks on
First Photo of Bush and Abramoff
White House had initially said there was no record of disgraced lobbyist at 2001 meeting

Posted Saturday, Feb. 11, 2006
Just how close was the relationship between the White House and disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff? The Bush Administration again faced questions about those ties after an e-mail Abramoff sent a journalist friend surfaced last week in which Abramoff wrote that he had met President Bush almost a dozen times over the past five years, and even received an invitation to the President's Crawford, Texas ranch along with other large political donors. Bush "has one of the best memories of any politician I have ever met," Abramoff mused in the e-mail last month, adding that, He "saw me in almost a dozen settings, and joked with me about a bunch of things, including details of my kids." The White House, however, has continued to assert that the President had no recollection of ever meeting Abramoff. When TIME reported in January that it had viewed unpublished photographs of Abramoff with Bush, aides responded that the pictures meant nothing since the President is photographed with thousands of supporters and White House visitors every year.

Now, finally, the first such photo has come to light. It shows a bearded Abramoff in the background as Bush greets an Abramoff client, Raul Garza, who was then the chairman of the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas; Bush senior advisor Karl Rove looks on. The photograph was provided to TIME by Mr. Garza. The meeting took place in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House on May 9, 2001. Told about the photograph in January, the White House said it had no record that Abramoff was present at the meeting. Shown the photograph today, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said the White House had still found no record of Abramoff's presence but confirmed that it is Abramoff in the picture. McClellan told TIME: "The president has taken countless, tens of thousands of pictures at home and abroad over the last five years. As we've said previously a photo like this has no relevance to the Justice Department's investigation (of Abramoff)."


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