Video: Fallout continues around Woodward book

By Chief foreign affairs correspondent
NBC News
updated 10/2/2006 7:22:42 PM ET 2006-10-02T23:22:42

All the president's men — in a state of denial today over "State of Denial." 

"Flat wrong. Absolutely wrong," says White House Press Secretary Tony Snow.

The White House issued a press release headlined "Five Key Myths In Bob Woodward's Book."

For instance, that Condoleezza Rice was told of a possible terror threat on July 10, 2001 — two months before 9/11.

On Monday, Rice, en route to Saudi Arabia, said it was "incomprehensible" that she would ignore such a warning.

But Woodward says he has documents proving that a CIA briefer told Rice of an impending attack.

"He said specifically, after the meeting, we did everything but pull the trigger to the gun we were holding to her head," Woodward says.

Andrea Mitchell: "Is there any evidence they did anything?"

Bob Woodward: "A presidential order to go get bin Laden or kill him was sitting on the president's desk Sept. 10, 2001."

Mitchell: "Sept. 10?"

Woodward: "The day before Sept. 11."

And contrary to White House claims, former officials tell NBC News, former CIA director George Tenet did testify in secret to the 9/11 Commission about that meeting.

The White House is also denying that former Chief of Staff Andrew Card tried to get the president to replace Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. But on Monday, Card confirmed he proposed replacing Rumsfeld with former Secretary of State James Baker.

Mitchell: "You were hearing that Republicans on the Hill had a problem with Rumsfeld?"

Card: "I was and I would not be bashful about repeating that."

Card did not deny that he also talked to Laura Bush about Rumsfeld. "I would always solicit her counsel and ask for her to be candid and she would frequently repeat to me some of the concerns she heard from other people," Card says.

Woodward 's documents include these talking points the president used at a national security meeting just before the war — recommending he keep the Iraqi army intact to prevent an insurgency. Instead, the army was disbanded.

Mitchell: "Is this a case where they're not telling him the truth? Or is it that he's putting a gloss on things?"

Woodward: "He knows how bad it is."

A sign of how damaging Woodward's claims are is how hard the White House is fighting back.

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