Eavesdropping on the POTUS
February 11, 2006
Due to a technical glitch at the House Republican retreat, part of George Bush's closed door Q&A with the House Republican Caucus was broadcast to reporters in a nearby room:
Before beginning a question-and-answer session with House Republicans at their retreat in Cambridge, Md., President Bush wanted to ensure that reporters did not get wind of any of the discussion -- even if he had his doubts.
"First of all, I expect this conversation we're about to have to stay in the room," he told the House Republican Caucus, gathered at a resort on the Eastern Shore. "I know that it's impossible in Washington."
Little did the president know that his comments were being broadcast to reporters in a nearby room via a microphone that was inadvertently left open. Before beginning his 100-minute session with lawmakers, Bush had delivered six minutes of remarks before playfully inviting reporters to leave.
"I support the free press -- let's just get them out of the room," Bush joked as reporters were ushered out.
The open mike, which was soon discovered, provided no scoops: Bush defended his warrantless eavesdropping program exactly as he has in numerous public appearances, calling it an essential method of protecting the nation against potential terrorists. [WaPo]