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Here's what the White House just sent out from Tony Snow on the NIE ...

Press Gaggle By Tony Snow

September 25, 2006

WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY TONY SNOW: "[O]ne thing that the reports do not say is that war in Iraq has made terrorism worse. And by the way, the DNI will be making public comments later today and he'll be taking questions in Washington. …

"First, the false impression has been created that the NIE focuses solely on Iraq and terrorism. This NIE examines global terrorism in its totality, the morphing of al Qaeda and its affiliates and other jihadist movements. It assesses that a variety of factors, in addition to Iraq, fuel the spread of jihadism, including longstanding social grievances, slowness of the pace of reform, and the use of the Internet. And it also notes that should jihadists be perceived to have failed in Iraq, fewer will be inspired to carry on the fight.

"In short, the news reports contain nothing that the President hasn't said. There was that one conclusion that you just mentioned, Sheryl, that appeared in I think one sentence of The New York Times report, and two sentences in the LA Times. Those are conclusions from blind sources. Obviously, we're not going to go into what the classified report does say, but what we did see in the newspapers yesterday, the substance, is precisely what the President has been saying: Al Qaeda – the leadership has been hit hard; it has become more dispersed; that there is more independent activity; that they're using other means for communication and organization, such as the Internet; that they have an ideology that is directed at the West and at democracies – it's a totalitarian ideology that tends to unite them.

"And reading the stories I thought, well, yes, I mean, this is what the President has been saying."

The DNI is Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte. We'll see what he says.

The pool report from on the road with the prez ...


Your representative of a friendly newspaper is currently sitting under the trees at a lovely beach-front table, overlooking the Long Island Sound. We are dining on a delicious lunch of Chilean sea bass, topped with pea puree, cheese ravioli with a butter sage sauce, and salad of field greens, topped with dried cranberries and candied pecans – the very same fare, we are told, that the donors gathered inside the massive home of Scott Frantz, investment banker, are enjoying.

Frantz is the president of Haebler Capital Corporation. His house is a big wood-shingled affair, four car garage, with a dock and a beautiful waterside view and shady manicured grounds.

Chris Shays is said to be inside; no word about the Republican Senate candidate, whose name no one can remember. (It’s Alan Schlesinger.) No word about any other elected officials either. 65 people inside, $800,000 to be raised, according to Tony Snow.

Tony gaggled. Look for a very lawyerly remark, drafted by the DNI’s office, about the classified national intelligence estimate that was reported in the news yesterday, Gist is that the report contained nothing Bush hasn’t said before. The DNI will make some remarks later today. Also some remarks about why the president keeps doing closed events, and comments on lower gas prices (he says the White House hasn’t rigged them) and a non-response to the Clinton remarks on Fox.

And now, circling back to the beginning of the day:

Marine One landed at Andrews at 10:35. POTUS emerged, followed by Rove and Snow and other aides your pool is too new to recognize. All aboard and wheels up at 10:46 for the one hour flight to JFK. After an uneventful trip, plus a 20-minute chopper ride, we landed in a lovely park in Greenwich, not far from the Long Island sound.

The motorcade wound its way through town, past plenty of locals waving American flags, pointing cameras and some hoisting protest signs, including War is Wa$te, and “More Trees, Less Bush.”

All of which made your working stiff pool wonder if the good people of Greenwich have to work for a living.

More soon.

Exclusive: Rep. Pelosi (D-CA) takes a stand on the Iraq/Terrorism NIE: "The classification of the reported NIE should be reviewed. And at a minimum, a redacted version should be issued."

TPM Reader CM called Rep. Pelosi's (D) office on the April NIE question: No position yet.

Late Update: Cal Sens. Feinstein (D) and Boxer (D) seem to be asking for more time to come up with a position.

The Republicans are pretty much all giving no comments on whether to release the April NIE.

But they're not the only ones.

Sen. Clinton (D): No comment. Sen. Schumer (D): No comment. Rep. Velazquez (D): No comment.

That's what TPM Reader DB and others were told when they called.

Rep. Ron Kind on releasing the NIE: too early for us to have a position.

That's what they told TPM Reader RF.