Friday, December 22, 2006

Sen. Jim Webb Says Story on Rift With Bush 'Emanated from the White House'

NEW YORK In an interview with Deborah Solomon that will appear in this Sunday's New York Times Magazine, the newly-elected U.S. senator from Virginia, Jim Webb, discusses his recent widely-publicized exchange with President Bush over an Iraq pullout.

At a recent White House reception the president had asked about Webb's son, who is serving in Iraq. Webb suggested that troops should start coming home from Iraq, and Bush snapped back, "I didn't ask you that."

Webb calls the coverage of that "vastly overblown" but adds: "I think what I said was appropriate." He also stated, "This was something that emanated from the White House. I did not say anything about this for two weeks. I said nothing publicly at all."

So why did the White House push the issue? "Probably as an attempt to try to define me between the election and the beginning of the Congress," Webb replied "And that's all I am going to say."

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