President Bush from the transcript of Bush’s discussions with King Abdullah:
THE PRESIDENT: . . . We did spend time on Iran. The interesting issue on Iran is the effect of the NIE. And I went over the NIE with him.
I assured him that our intelligence services came to an independent judgment. I reminded him of what I said at my press conference when we got involved with that story: they were a threat, they are a threat, and they will be a threat if we don’t work together to stop their enrichment. So we spent a fair amount of time on Iran. I have spent a fair amount of time on Iran in every stop.
Q Just a couple quick follow ups on Iran. On the NIE, did you — were you, in effect, distancing yourself from the conclusions of the NIE, and these guys —
THE PRESIDENT: No, I was making it clear it was an independent judgment, because what they basically came to the conclusion of, is that he’s trying — you know, this is a way to make sure that all options aren’t on the table. So I defended our intelligence services, but made it clear that they’re an independent agency; that they come to conclusions separate from what I may or may not want.
Link via TPM
Irancove @ January 15, 2008