Bush: I Didn't Know About CIA Tapes

Reserves judgment; knocks spending, Putin, in year-end presser
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2007 11:07 AM CST
President Bush gestures during a news conference, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2007, in the Brady Press Room at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – President Bush said today he didn’t know about the destroyed CIA interrogation tapes until CIA chief Michael Hayden briefed him earlier this month, and he intends to reserve judgment while they’re investigated. "Let's wait and see what the facts are," he said. In his year-end press conference, Bush touched on everything from foreign policy to the economy.

Bush praised Congress for producing a spending bill without raising taxes, but complained the bill was late and full of earmarks. He wasn’t satisfied with progress in Iraq, “but to say nothing is happening is not the case.” On newly minted person-of-the-year Vladimir Putin, Bush acknowledged that the Russian president is "a consequential leader," but added, "consequential to what end?” As for his successor, Bush warned against candidates “who relied upon opinion polls.”