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'In trouble,' Bush Administration returns to FOX News again

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Ron Brynaert
Published: Monday December 4, 2006

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"In trouble," the Bush Administration again appears to be turning to the friendlier shores of Rupert Murdoch's Fox empire.

President Bush met with Fox News anchor Brit Hume on Sunday for a "sit down" interview, Fox News Channel is reporting, and the full interview is scheduled to be aired early Monday evening, beginning at 6 PM EST.

Among other things, Bush expressed doubt that Iraq was in the midst of a civil war, since "most of the country outside of the Baghdad area, is relatively peaceful."

"Listen, I've heard a lot of voices say that," Bush said about the term "civil war," which news organizations like NBC News and The New York Times have recently decided to employ when referring to Iraq.

"And I've talked to people there in Iraq who don't believe that's the case," Bush added. "For example, some would argue that the fact that 90 percent of the country -- let me just say this -- most of the country outside of the Baghdad area, is relatively peaceful. Doesn't indicate a civil war as far as they're concerned. "

The cable news channel is promoting the interview as Bush's first "sit down" since Democrats triumphed over his party during the midterm elections.

"With the balance of power shifted and the new battles on the Hill, President Bush gives his first interview since the election!" notes Fox's website. "What's his plan to get his party back on track for 2008?"

This afternoon, Hume said on Fox that the interview included discussions on Iraq and the recent election woes, and that President Bush believes that the "judgment of history" on what he has done will be far different than that of contemporary views. On Sunday, five editorials in the Washington Post debated whether or not Bush was the "worst president ever," as Raw Story reported.

After interviewing Bush, Hume said that he didn't think any "great change" will be affecting U.S. policy towards Iraq any time soon, despite the Democrats now controlling both Houses in Congress, vocal Republican critics, and the upcoming release of a report by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, which will reportedly recommend policy changes.

As Variety reported yesterday, the "sit down" will mark the "second time the Administration has turned to Fox in a time of trouble...Vice President Dick Cheney visited with Hume exclusively after his hunting accident."

In the latest setback for the Bush Administration, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton handed in his resignation earlier this morning, less than one month after Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was "forced out" one day after Election Day.