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Special Event

Bush Spokesman Ari Fleischer Addresses Questions About John Ashcroft

Aired January 16, 2001 - 1:24 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

QUESTION: ... is a very anti-Catholic school.

NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: We're listening in for a moment. Ari Fleischer has been taking questions about President-elect Bush's controversial nominee, John Ashcroft.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

QUESTION: ... Pope John Paul to the United States, misquoted the pope, and has, along with a number of these other anti-Ashcroft groups, tried to get the U.N. thrown out -- the U.N. to throw out the Vatican, to expel them. And my question is, how do you and president- elect feel about this kind of hypocrisy?

ARI FLEISCHER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY NOMINEE: Well, again, I think it's signs of things that are done and said by liberal special interest groups. And that organization also opposed Justice Souter.

QUESTION: How long do you expect (OFF-MIKE)?

FLEISCHER: Director Tenet has been asked to stay on the job for what will amount to an undetermined period of time. But he has been asked to stay on.

QUESTION: When (OFF-MIKE)?

FLEISCHER: I believe that conversation...

ALLEN: A pause in the questions about Ashcroft. We want to show you the pictures there. John Ashcroft meeting and greeting his old colleagues there in the Senate. And the hearing begins in five minutes. We will provide live coverage.

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