George W. Bush and Jack Abramoff
In correspondence made public February 9, 2006, by the "liberal activist group" American Progress Action Fund, Jack Abramoff said that President George W. Bush "met him 'almost a dozen' times, disputing White House claims Bush did not know the former lobbyist at the center of a corruption scandal," Reuters reported.
- "'The guy saw me in almost a dozen settings, and joked with me about a bunch of things, including details of my kids. Perhaps he has forgotten everything, who knows,' Abramoff wrote in an e-mail to Kim Eisler, national editor for the Washingtonian magazine. ... Abramoff added that Bush also once invited him to his [Crawford,] Texas ranch."
On January 8, 2007, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) posted online "a photo of President Bush and Jack Abramoff at a campaign fundraiser in December 2003."
Although President Bush has said that "he doesn't recall meeting convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the two have reportedly turned up in photos together," according to the Washingtonian and TIME magazines, which "have reported the existence of about a half-dozen photos showing the two together," the Associated Press reported January 22, 2006.
"But the focus on the photos distracts from a more important question that the president managed to duck in his news conference [January 16, 2006,]: Who in the White House and administration met with Mr. Abramoff, and what were those meetings about? ...
"If there is one thing that is now clear, anything involving Mr. Abramoff is, by definition, fishy." --Editorial, Washington Post, January 28, 2006.
"Meets" and "Greets"
- "Controversial lobbyist had close contact with Bush team," Associated Press (USA Today), May 6, 2005.
- "Reception Line Photos Show Bush, Abramoff Together," Associated Press (Fox News), January 22, 2006.
- "Bush Downplays Abramoff Photos," Associated Press (Fox News), January 23, 2006.
- "White House Disputes Abramoff Ties," CBS News/Associated Press, January 23, 2006.
- "Bush aide says talk of Abramoff ties 'absurd'. Photos of ex-lobbyist with president don’t reflect 'relationship,' aide says," Associated Press (MSNBC), January 23, 2006.
- Richard Keil and Bob Willis, "Bush, Abramoff Posed for Photos Five Times, Magazines Report," Bloomberg News, January 23, 2006; also posted on Common Dreams website.
- Craig Crawford, "1600: Protesting Too Much?" CQ Weekly, January 23, 2006.
- Nico Pitney, "UPDATE: Isikoff Confirms Abramoff Shopped Bush Photos," Think Progress, January 24, 2006: "Appearing on MSNBC, Newsweek correspondent Michael Isikoff reported that it was indeed Abramoff who floated the photographs to Washingtonian." Video link on page; transcript follows.
- Elisabeth Bumiller, "Photos of Bush With Disgraced Lobbyist Are Confirmed," New York Times, January 24, 2006.
- "Team Bush won't share Abramoff pics," New York Daily News, January 24, 2006.
- Adam Zagorin and Mike Allen, "When George met Jack," TIME (CNN), January 24, 2006; "When George Met Jack. White House aides deny the President knew lobbyist Abramoff, but unpublished photos shown to TIME suggest there's more to the story," TIME, January 30, 2006 (issue).
- Jim VandeHei and Susan Schmidt, "Photos of Bush With Abramoff Are Withheld. White House Calls Pictures Irrelevant to Ethics Inquiry," Washington Post, January 24, 2006.
- "Mr. Abramoff's Meetings," Washington Post, January 25, 2006.
- David Stout, "Photos With Lobbyist Are 'Not Relevant,' Bush Says," New York Times, January 26, 2006.
- Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo entry for January 26, 2006.
- David Donnelly, "Photograph Company President that 'scrubbed' Abramoff photo with Bush gave to Bush," Daily DeLay, January 26, 2006.
- "The President Speaks About the Abramoff Photos. Bush Admits Their Existence, but Downplays Their Significance," TIME, January 26, 2006.
- Michael Hedges, "Bush defends Abramoff photos. He says images showing him with disgraced lobbyist won't be released to the public," Houston Chronicle, January 26, 2006.
- James Gerstenzang and Peter Wallsten, "President tries to distance himself, staff from Abramoff. The White House refuses to release pictures of Jack Abramoff taken with the president," Los Angeles Times (Seattle Times), January 27, 2006.
- Kim Eisler, "Bush and Abramoff—Say Cheese?" Washingtonian, February 2006 (issue).
- "White House Acknowledges Abramoff Photo, Stresses It Doesn't Mean Bush, Lobbyist Had Relationship," Associated Press (ABC News), February 12, 2006.
- Adam Zagorin and Matthew Cooper, "Abramoff's Kodak moment," TIME (CNN), February 14, 2006.
- Editorial: "Jack Who?", Washington Post, February 15, 2006.
- Toni Locy, "Abramoff's White House records to open," Associated Press (Boston Globe), May 1, 2006.
- "Judicial Watch Compels Secret Service to Produce White House Logs Detailing Abramoff Visits. Federal Court Orders Logs Produced on May 10, 2006," Judicial Watch, May 1, 2006.
- "Records of Abramoff Meetings at White House To Be Released," Associated Press (Editor & Publisher), May 1, 2006.
- "CREW Sues Secret Service Over Abramoff-Related Visitor Records, Secret Service Refuses to Hand Over Docs to Ethics Org," U.S. Newswire, May 9, 2006.
- "DNC: Abramoff Documents As Incomplete As A Half Full Skybox," U.S. Newswire, May 10, 2006.
- "CREW Statement on Today's Released White House-Abramoff Records," U.S. Newswire, May 10, 2006.
- Philip Shenon, "Abramoff Visits in White House Logs Are Linked to Rove and a Budget Aide," New York Times, May 11, 2006.
- Pete Yost, " Associated Press (Guardian Unlimited (UK)), May 11, 2006.
- "Secret Service records show just two visits, but there were more," Associated Press (NBC3 WSTM.com), May 11, 2006.
- "Secret Service Responds to CREW's Lawsuit with New White House Records Detailing Abramoff Visits," Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, July 7, 2006.
- "Bush and Abramoff have met. Here is the photo," Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, January 8, 2007.
"Team Abramoff" and the Bush administration
In the first ten months that President George W. Bush was in office, "GOP fundraiser Jack Abramoff and his lobbying team logged nearly 200 contacts with the new administration as they pressed for friendly hires at federal agencies and sought to keep the Northern Mariana Islands exempt from the minimum wage and other laws," the Associated Press reported May 6, 2005.
"The meetings between Abramoff's lobbying team and the administration ranged from Attorney General John Ashcroft to policy advisers in Vice President Dick Cheney's office, according to his lobbying firm billing records."
"The records from Abramoff's firm, obtained by The Associated Press from the Marianas under an open records request, chronicle Abramoff's careful cultivation of relations with Bush's political team as far back as 1997, [when] Abramoff charged the Marianas for getting then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush to write a letter expressing support for the Pacific territory's school choice proposal, his billing records show.
"'I hope you will keep my office informed on the progress of this initiative,' Bush wrote in a July 18, 1997, letter praising the islands' school plan and copying in an Abramoff deputy," the AP reported.
"White House spokeswoman Erin Healy said Thursday that Bush didn't consider Abramoff a friend. 'They may have met on occasion, but the president does not know him,' she said."
"The documents [obtained by the AP] show his team also had extensive access to Bush administration officials, meeting with Cheney policy advisers Ron Christie and Stephen Ruhlen, Ashcroft at the Justice Department, White House intergovernmental affairs chief Ruben Barrales, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick, Deputy Interior Secretary J. Steven Griles and others.
"Most of the contacts were handled by Abramoff's subordinates, who then reported back to him on the meetings. Abramoff met several times personally with top Interior officials, whose Office of Insular Affairs oversees the Mariana Islands and other U.S. territories.
"In all, the records show at least 195 contacts between Abramoff's Marianas lobbying team and the Bush administration from February through November 2001.
"At least two people who worked on Abramoff's team at Preston Gates wound up with Bush administration jobs: Patrick Pizzella, named an assistant secretary of labor by Bush; and David Safavian, chosen by Bush to oversee federal procurement policy in the Office of Management and Budget," the AP wrote.
- Lee Drutman, "Abramoff was just one of many," Scripps Howard News Service (The Providence Journal), February 14, 2006.
- Sharon Theimer, "Lobbyist Had Close Contact With Bush Team," Associated Press (ABC News), May 6, 2005.
- Lou Dubose, "The Pimping of the Presidency. Jack Abramoff and Grover Norquist Billing Clients for Face Time with G.W. Bush," The Texas Observer, June 9, 2005; also posted on AlterNet.
- Jonathan Weisman, "Bush to Give Up $6,000 In Abramoff Contributions," Washington Post, January 5, 2006.
- Roy Temple, "Team Abramoff Worked Closely With Bush White House," Fired Up America!, January 9, 2006.
- Doug Thompson, "Bush often met with, and praised, corrupt lobbyist," Capitol Hill Blue, January 18, 2006.
- Doug Thompson, "Mounting evidence proves White House lied about relationship with corrupt lobbyist," Capitol Hill Blue, January 19, 2006.
- John Byrne and Ron Brynaert, "Photograph shows Bush meeting now-Governor of Marianas Islands, who helped Abramoff get millions," The Raw Story, January 23, 2006.
- Richard Benedetto and David Jackson, "'I don't know' Abramoff, Bush says," USA Today, January 26, 2006.
- John Dickerson, "All the President's Dodges. How George Bush ducks question," Slate, January 26, 2006.
- Jim VandeHei, "Bush Reasserts Presidential Prerogatives. Eavesdropping, Katrina Probe Cited as Concerns," Washington Post, January 27, 2006.
- "It's easier to make light than shed it," Associated Press (Chicago Tribune), January 27, 2006.
- Alexandra Walker, "Bush and K Street," Tom Paine, January 27, 2006.
- Editorial: "Mr. Abramoff's Meetings, Again," Washington Post, January 28, 2006.
- Richard Morin, "Most Want Bush to Disclose Links to Lobbyist," Washington Post, January 28, 2006.
- "Abramoff says Bush met, even joked, with him. Statement follows White House claim that president does not know lobbyist," Reuters, February 10, 2006.
- Susan Schmidt, "Abramoff Lobbying of White House Probed," Washington Post, July 15, 2006.
- Scot J. Paltrow, "Justice Probes Abramoff Ties To White House," Wall Street Journal Online, April 16, 2007.