Senator John Warner's statement yesterday that the US should begin troop withdrawals from Iraq by winter obviously threw the White House into panic-mode, with administration officials saying they've asked the influential Republican to clarify that he has not broken politically with President Bush.
But one White House anonymous official obviously decided to massage reality and got slapped in the face for his trouble:
According to an administration official, Warner's staff agreed that the story was being portrayed incorrectly as Warner splitting with the president.Ok, it's a split. Warner isn't even pretending he's staying "on message".
``They said they'd take steps to deal with it,'' said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details of the private conversations.
However, in the AP interview, Warner said he personally had not been asked to revise his comments and he took no issue with how his views were reported. When asked whether he had indeed split with Bush on Iraq, he declined to say and noted his remarks speak for themselves.
``You have to surmise that on your own,'' he said.