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Oopsie — there's Jack Abramoff back there

From the NYT, which has a White House photo up: President Bush shaking hands in 2001 with Chief Raul Garza of the Kickapoo tribe of Texas. In the background at left is the lobbyist Jack Abramoff; Karl Rove, the president’s top adviser, is at the right.

I guess the White House will have to wait and see how many radioactive photos from other events will surface soon. (NYT):

The White House confirmed the authenticity of the photograph. It was provided to The New York Times by the Indian chief, Raul Garza of the Kickapoo tribe of southwest Texas. Mr. Garza, who is under indictment on federal charges of embezzling money from his tribe, said he was eager to demonstrate that he had “nothing to hide” in his dealings with the White House and Mr. Abramoff.

A lawyer for Mr. Garza said Mr. Abramoff arranged for the chief to attend the meeting, in a conference room in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House. The meeting took place at a time when the lobbyist was seeking a contract to represent the 800-member tribe and its casino, which was producing hundreds of thousands of dollars a month in revenue. Mr. Abramoff never got the contract.

…The president’s spokesman, Scott McClellan, said Friday that the presence of the lobbyist and Mr. Garza at the meeting, which was organized to thank a group of state legislators who supported the president’s 2001 tax cut program, did not suggest that Mr. Abramoff had any special influence at the White House. Mr. Bush has said he cannot recall having met Mr. Abramoff, though the White House has not disputed accounts that Mr. Abramoff came to the White House on a number of occasions.

Dear Leader “doesn’t recall” meetng Jack, but according to The Washingtonian, someone’s lying because Jack seems to have a different recollection of the Chimp’s familiarity with him.

Sources say the photographs are being kept safe. Abramoff would tell prosecutors, if asked, that not only did he know the President, but the President knew the names of Abramoff’s children and asked about them during their meetings. At one such photo session, Bush discussed the fact that both he and Abramoff were fathers of twins.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding