updated 3/1/2005 12:32:08 PM ET 2005-03-01T17:32:08

Tapes of President Bush that were secretly recorded by an old friend and released to the media now are in the possession of the president’s private attorney, the White House said Tuesday.

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“It’s a matter that we consider closed at this point,” White House press secretary Scott McClellan said.

Doug Wead allowed journalists to hear and broadcast the tapes as he promoted his new book on presidential parents. But he said last week he had regrets about that and was turning the tapes over to Bush and giving some proceeds from his book to charity.

On the tapes, recorded over the course of the two years before Bush became the Republican presidential nominee in 2000, Bush discusses strategy for his first presidential run and appears to acknowledge past drug use. He says he would refuse to answer questions about using LSD, cocaine and marijuana because “I don’t want any kid doing what I tried to do 30 years ago.”

“They are in private hands,” McClellan said of the tapes. He declined any further comment.

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