For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
The White House
October 7, 2003
Remarks By President Bush
[excerpts on White House leak investigation]
Q: Mr. President, beyond the actual leak of classified information, there are reports that someone in the administration was trying to -- after it was already out -- actively spread the story, even calling Ambassador Wilson's wife "fair game." Are you asking your staff is anyone did that? And would it be wrong or even a fire-able offense if that happened?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, the investigators will ask our staff about what people did or did not do. This is a town of -- where a lot of people leak. And I've constantly expressed my displeasure with leaks, particularly leaks of classified information. And I want to know, I want to know the truth. I want to see to it that the truth prevail. And I hope we can get this investigation done in a thorough way, as quickly as possible.
But the Justice Department will conduct this investigation. The professionals in the Justice Department will be involved in ferreting out the truth. These are citizens who will -- were here before this administration arrived and will be here after this administration leaves. And they'll come to the bottom of this, and we'll find out the truth. And that will be -- that's a good thing for this administration.
Q: Mr. President, how confident are you the investigation will find the leaker in the CIA case? And what do you make of Sharon's comment that Israel will strike its enemies at any place, any time?
THE PRESIDENT: This is the dual question. (Laughter.) I'm trying to figure out if I want to answer either of them, since you violated a major rule. (Laughter.) At least it's not a cell phone. (Laughter.)
Randy, you tell me, how many sources have you had that's leaked information that you've exposed or have been exposed? Probably none. I mean this town is a -- is a town full of people who like to leak information. And I don't know if we're going to find out the senior administration official. Now, this is a large administration, and there's a lot of senior officials. I don't have any idea. I'd like to. I want to know the truth. That's why I've instructed this staff of mine to cooperate fully with the investigators -- full disclosure, everything we know the investigators will find out. I have no idea whether we'll find out who the leaker is -- partially because, in all due respect to your profession, you do a very good job of protecting the leakers. But we'll find out.