Photos Reveal Bush-Abramoff Meetings
23 January 2006 -- 20:28 GMT
WASHINGTON, DC -- Time magazine is reporting that it has seen a half dozen compromising photos showing President Bush meeting with controversial GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
White House spokesperson Dan Bartlett acknowledged that the shadowy influence peddler attended a handful of official functions and "Hanukah celebrations" at the White House, but insisted Mr. Bush and Mr. Abramoff did not have a personal relationship.
"He did not engage in lobbying relations with that man," declared Bartlett.
Though Time has not released the images to the public, informed sources reveal that the photos include the following:
- Mr. Abramoff performing an emergency briss in the Roosevelt Room;
- The president wearing an Indian headdress while playing craps at one of Mr. Abramoff's tribal clients, the Winnalotta-Wampum Casino;
- Mr. Bush and Mr. Abramoff water-skiing together behind one of his SunCruz gambling ships, which Abramoff purchased with the help of a forged wire transfer for $23 million; and
- Both men sharing a cigar in an unusually intimate fashion.
Despite Abramoff's close ties with key members of the White House staff, and his status as a "pioneer" who raised more than $100,000 for Bush-Cheney campaign in 2004, the White House has publicly condemned the lobbyist.
"Mr. Abramoff has admitted to outrageous wrongdoing," said Bartlett. "The president would never admit to anything like that."