February 19, 2007

tsnow1.jpg Tony Snow admitted that they knew about the conditions at Walter Reed before the article hit the stands, but he hedged his bets as he went on.

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Q Do you think the President is going to say something about this later?

MR. SNOW: No.

Q You responded to me a moment ago that the administration was aware of this before the articles appeared in the paper.

MR. SNOW: That is my understanding. But, again, this is something that's an action item over at the Department of Defense and, in particular, the Department of the Army. I am not fully briefed on the activities or who knew what, when. And I suggest --

Q Was the President aware of it? Was the White House aware of it?

MR. SNOW: I am not certain --

Q May I follow on --

Q What is the President's --

MR. SNOW: -- when we first became aware of it.* Now the President certainly has been aware of the conditions in the wards where he has visited, and visited regularly, and we also have people from Walter Reed regularly over to the White House as guests, sometimes in fairly large numbers. So as I said, the President is committed -- committed to these people, committed to men and women who have served. We need to make sure that whatever problems there are get fixed. I couldn't be any stronger or plainer about it.

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