Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Jack Who?

The AP has the story on the friendship between Jack Abramoff and Karl Rove:

Three former associates of Jack Abramoff said Monday that the now-disgraced lobbyist frequently told them during his lobbying work he had strong ties to the White House through presidential confidant Karl Rove.

The White House said Monday that Rove remembers meeting Abramoff at a 1990s political meeting and considered the lobbyist a “casual acquaintance” since President Bush took office in 2001.

[…]

One said he was present when Abramoff took a call from Rove’s office to confirm a White House meeting had been approved between Malaysia’s prime minister and Bush in May 2002. Abramoff was being paid by Malaysia for helping it in Washington, according to evidence the Senate has made public.

[…]

Abramoff was a $100,000 fundraiser for Bush and lobbying records obtained by the AP show his lobbying team logged nearly 200 meetings with the administration during its first 10 months in office on behalf of one of his clients, the Northern Mariana Islands.

The contacts between Abramoff’s team and the administration included meetings with Attorney General John Ashcroft and policy advisers to Vice President Dick Cheney, the AP reported last year.

Abramoff’s former assistant, Susan Ralston, went to work for Rove in 2001. Abramoff’s legal team declined comment Monday night.

[…]

Asked about the three former Abramoff associates’ account, the White House said Rove shared a common past with Abramoff as leaders of a young Republicans group decades ago.

“Mr. Rove remembers they had met at a political event in the 1990s,” White House spokeswoman Erin Healy said. “Since then, he would describe him as a casual acquaintance.”

With friends like Karl, who needs enemas?

(HT to TPM)