5,195. 7/7/2003

In a press briefing on July 7, 2003, Press Secretary Ari Fleischer claimed “that neither [Vice President Dick] Cheney nor anyone else in the White House had had any reason to suspect the Niger charge [of selling yellowcake uranium to Iraq] prior to the [January 28, 2003] State of the Union speech. But under persistent questioning from David Sanger of The New York Times, Fleischer became confused on whether or not [President] Bush’s sixteen-word sentence in his State of the Union–which had referred to uranium shopping in Africa, not Niger–had been wrong. …[Fleischer] seemed to suggest the White House was standing by the sixteen words. But moments later, Fleischer remarked, ‘The president’s broader statement was based and predicated on the yellowcake from Niger.’ ‘So it was wrong?’ Sanger asked. ‘That’s what we’ve acknowledged,’ Fleischer said.”

 – Michael Isikoff and David Corn, Hubris, Pages 256-257

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