Spokeswoman: Bush can not remember CIA tapes

Updated: 2007-12-08 10:24

White House Press Secretary Dana Perino listens to a reporters question about the CIA videotaping of its interrogations of two top terror suspects in 2002, Friday, Dec. 7, 2007, during her daily briefing at the White House in Washington. [Agencies]

WASHINGTON -- US President George W. Bush "has no recollection" of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) videotapes that showed CIA agents interrogating terrorism suspects, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Friday.

The CIA has confirmed Thursday's reports that in 2005, its members destroyed at least two videotapes documenting the interrogations of suspected al-Qaida operatives.

"I spoke to the President this morning about this. He has no recollection of being made aware of the tapes or their destruction before yesterday," Perino told reporters.

Bush was briefed by CIA Director Michael Hayden about the issue Friday morning, she added.

In a letter to CIA employees explaining the issue, Hayden insisted that the tapes were destroyed "in line with the law," in an effort to protect the safety of undercover officers.

However, many Democrats are suspicious that the tapes may have been destroyed to avoid widespread condemnation of CIA interrogation practices.

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