CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Donald Rumsfeld Holds Media Availability
Aired July 13, 2003 - 08:35 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: ...that would be way out of line. I think very highly of Director Tenet.
QUESTION: Should the president of the United States (UNINTELLIGIBLE) evidence in the speech for the nation from a foreign intelligence source?
RUMSFELD: The president and George Tenet have said it all. This is not a big issue in my view.
QUESTION: But you called it fragmentary...
RUMSFELD: No, I quoted what I had seen in intelligence information over a sustained period of time, it refer -- referred to fragmentary reports, plural. Not a single.
QUESTION: So, the president put that in the State of the Union...
RUMSFELD: The president indicated it should not have been in there. I don't know what else one could ask. And the secretary -- Director Tenet said that. Why would you ask anyone else? They both agreed it should not have been in there.
QUESTION: Are you worried?
RUMSFELD: They did not agree it was inaccurate, they did not say it was inaccurate. The British still say it is accurate and the president's statement was accurate when he said the British intelligence says this, which is what he said. They still -- the British still think that's accurate, it may be. There's no one's demonstrated that it's inaccurate. The only thing we know is that it didn't rise to the level of a presidential speech and therefore should not have been in.
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, (UNINTELLIGIBLE), highly unlikely there was any means of delivering biological and chemical weapons within 45 minutes, that Tony Blair made a fundamental mistake?
RUMSFELD: I don't know about that.
QUESTION: You don't have to...
RUMSFELD: Good. Thank you.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: All right, that was defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, responding to the questions -- the ongoing questions that are now, plaguing the Bush administration about his State of the Union speech and whether President Bush should have, indeed, attributed his information to British intelligence.
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