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Bush keeps Saddam's gun in White House

The unloaded pistol was taken from the Iraqi leader when he was captured earlier this year and presented to the president by U.S. troops.
/ Source: Reuters

A handgun that Saddam Hussein was clutching when U.S. forces captured him in a hole in Iraq last December is now kept by President Bush at the White House, Time magazine reported Sunday.

Military officials had the pistol mounted after it was seized from Saddam near his hometown of Tikrit last year, and soldiers involved in the capture gave it to Bush in a private meeting, Time said.

The magazine quoted a visitor who had been shown the gun, which is kept in a small study off the Oval Office where Bush displays memorabilia. It is the same room where former President Clinton had some of his encounters with former intern Monica Lewinsky.

Bush shows Saddam's gun to select visitors, telling them it is unloaded, both now and when Saddam was captured, Time reported.

"He really liked showing it off," Time quoted a visitor who had seen the gun as saying. "He was really proud of it."

A White House spokesman was not immediately available for comment.