Whopper: George W. Bush.

Whopper: George W. Bush.

Whopper: George W. Bush.

Gossip, speculation, and scuttlebutt about politics.
June 4 2004 5:00 PM

Whopper: George W. Bush

Chalabi? The president can't quite place that name ...

Q: Thank you, Mr. President. Mr. Chalabi is an Iraqi leader that's fallen out of favor within your administration. I'm wondering if you feel that he provided any false information, or are you particularly—

A: Chalabi?

Q: Yes, with Chalabi.

A: My meetings with him were very brief. I mean, I think I met with him at the State of the Union and just kind of working through the rope line, and he might have come with a group of leaders. But I haven't had any extensive conversations with him.

President Bush, in a Rose Garden exchange with reporters, June 1, 2004.

Q: If the Iraqis choose, however, an Islamic extremist regime, would you accept that, and would that be better for the United States than Saddam Hussein?

A: They're not going to develop that. And the reason I can say that is because I'm very aware of this basic law they're writing. They're not going to develop that because right here in the Oval Office I sat down with Mr. Pachachi and Chalabi and al-Hakim, people from different parts of the country that have made the firm commitment, that they want a constitution eventually written that recognizes minority rights and freedom of religion.

President Bush, in an Oval Office interview with NBC's Tim Russert aired Feb. 8, 2004

Note: "Whopper of the Week" connoisseurs will recall Bush's similar, and similarly unsuccessful, attempt to distance himself from Enron CEO Ken Lay after the Enron scandal. Some people never learn.

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(Thanks to Matt Wall, Atrios, Kevin Drum, and assorted other bloggers.)

Got a whopper? Send it to chatterbox@slate.com. To be considered, an entry must be an unambiguously false statement paired with an unambiguous refutation, and both must be derived from some appropriately reliable public source. Preference will be given to newspapers and other documents that Chatterbox can link to online.

Whopper Archive:
April 11, 2004: Condoleezza Rice

March 15, 2004: John Kerry
Feb. 7, 2004: George Soros
Jan. 30, 2004: Howard Dean
Jan. 10, 2004: President Bush
Jan. 5, 2004: Laura Bush

(Click here to access the Whopper Archive for 2003, here  to access the Whopper Archive for 2002, and here  to access the Whopper Archive for 2001.)