Reporter: Dana, on Tuesday at his press conference, when the president was asked about when he learned about Iran's nuclear program being halted, was he being completely candid?I suppose it depends on what the definition of "truth" is.
Perino: Yes, he was ... If you look at the rest of that sentence, what the president is -- the president was clearly told that there was new information that was coming in, but he wasn't told the details of it. And the president was also told that the intelligence community was going to need to go back and check out to find out if it's true. What I said is that [Director of National Intelligence Mike] McConnell told the president if the new information turns out to be true, what we thought we knew for sure is right: Iran does, in fact, have a covert nuclear weapons program, but it may be suspended. He said that there were many streams of information that were coming in. They could potentially be in conflict. They didn't have a lot of confidence in the information yet.
Reporter: But the president said, "He didn't tell me what the information was." But you're now saying he was told that Iran may have halted its nuclear weapons program and also that there may be a new assessment, right?
Perino: Right, but he doesn't -- he didn't get any of the details of what -- what the information was, in terms of what the actual raw intelligence was.
Reporter: But he didn't say "details." He just said, "He didn't tell me what the ... "
Perino: OK, look. I can see where you could say that the president could have been more precise in that language. But the president was being truthful ...
DailyKos fellow Bill in Portland Maine provides this hysterical take on Bush's Presser:
In the back of the new White House press briefing room is a small, nondescript booth in which a professional announcer records the proceedings in detail for the National Archives. C&J has obtained a transcript of his commentary from Tuesday's press conference with the president:
"President Bush is practically standing still now. He's dropped the news that he didn’t know until last week that Iran had suspended its nuclear weapons program; and, uh, he's being questioned by an NBC reporter. It's starting to get tense; it's---the tension had, uh slacked up a little bit. The president is spinning, uh, just enough to keep the truth from... He's burst into flames! His pants have burst into flames, and he's falling, he's crashing! Watch it! Watch it! Get out of the way! Get out of the way! It's fire---and he's crashing! He's crashing terrible! Oh, my! Get out of the way, please! His slacks are burning and bursting into flames; and the---and it's melting Helen Thomas's shoes. And all the folks agree that this is terrible; this is the worst of the worst catastrophes in the world. Its flames... Crashing, oh! Four- or five-hundred words into the press conference and it---it's a terrific crash, ladies and gentlemen. It's smoke, and it's flames now; Oh, the humanity! And all the reporters screaming around here. I told you; it---I can't even talk to people... Ah! It's---it---it's a---ah! I...I can't talk, ladies and gentlemen. Honest: his credibility is just laying there, mass of smoking wreckage. His poll numbers are plunging into the teens. Oh! And everybody can hardly breathe and talk and Lady, I...I...I'm sorry. Honest: I...I can hardly breathe. I...I'm going to step outside, where I cannot see it. Listen, folks; I...I'm gonna have to stop for a minute because... I've lost my voice. This is the worst thing I've ever witnessed..."
Fortunately Condi Rice stopped by and was able to snuff out the fire by staring at it.
(comic credit Dwane Powell)