Unsynchronized spinning

Dana Perino says Bush was happy to hear Republican warnings about the war. Oh, really?

Published May 11, 2007 2:54PM (EDT)

That meeting in which moderate Republicans told the president this week that he's risking the future of the Republican Party by sticking to his guns on Iraq?

Here's how White House spokeswoman Dana Perino spun it in an interview with CNN's Paula Zahn last night: "They expressed displeasure to the president. They expressed frustration, because of a lack of progress. The president understands that. He's right there with them on that. And I think that, if you look at our party, we are ones that like a frank exchange of views. We have a big tent. And discussions like this are OK. They're good to have. And that's why the president was very happy to have them at the White House."

Yep, he was frickin' overjoyed all right -- and happier still to have word of the meeting leaked to the press. From today's Washington Post: "White House political adviser Karl Rove, furious that Republican moderates had divulged a confrontational meeting they had on Tuesday with Bush on the war, started yesterday with an angry conversation with the meeting's organizer, Rep. Mark Steven Kirk (R-Ill.), according to several GOP lawmakers. Dan Meyer, the White House's chief lobbyist, called the other participants to express the administration's unhappiness."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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