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VIDEO: White House spokesman still waiting for security clearance

RAW STORY
Published: Thursday July 20, 2006

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President George W. Bush's Press Secretary Tony Snow is still waiting for a security clearance, RAW STORY has learned.

In a daily press briefing on Wednesday, when asked about American knowledge of the missile threat from Hezbollah, Snow responded "No, I don't know what the intelligence is. I literally don't know what the intelligence was before the fact, and until my security clearance clears, I'm not going to have access to it. I'm told it's a few more weeks. No, that's true. You come here, you're a new guy, you've got to get the clearances."

Snow was hired on April 26 of this year, almost a full three months ago.

Snow held an important position in the administration of President George H.W. Bush, starting in 1991 as Director of Speechwriting and Deputy Assistant to the President for Media Affairs. It is not known whether a security clearance was required for his position at that time, though former George W. Bush speechwriter Michael Gerson is known to have had his security clearance upgraded within days of the September 11 attacks.

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A transcript of the exchange is provided below.

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Q If the reports are correct, and we, in fact, didn't know about the weapons advances that Hezbollah has made, is there some frustration or embarrassment within the intelligence community at the moment?

MR. SNOW: Well, you've asked me one of those "ifs," and then the answer is, I don't know what the knowledge was about intelligence; therefore, I can't answer it. Sorry, Victoria.

Q Well, it seems certainly according to the reports that we didn't know that they had made significant advances.

MR. SNOW: Again, I don't know.

Q Do you know whether -- do you know?

MR. SNOW: No, I don't know what the intelligence is. I literally don't know what the intelligence was before the fact, and until my security clearance clears, I'm not going to have access to it. I'm told it's a few more weeks. No, that's true. You come here, you're a new guy, you've got to get the clearances.