- If the Whitehouse Political Director is involved, might it not be true that "politics was involved" in the firing of the US attorneys?
Q But, Tony, on March 14th, the President was in Mexico, he was at a press conference and said, "I've heard those allegations about political decision-making in this matter. It's just not true." How can that be true when now there are emails showing that the White House Political Director was involved in the firings? Wouldn't that suggests politics --Just who is the Whitehouse Political Director you ask? I did too. My search didn't yield good results, but it sure seems like that would be Uncle Karl, no?
MR. SNOW: No, the White House Political Director -- I think if you take a look at the White House Political Director, these most recent emails I believe took place after the personnel action had taken place. And furthermore, look, you can assume that when you have political appointees, the Political Office is certainly going to have some conversations. And I believe that the emails you're talking about involve Tim Griffin.
Q Okay. But you're saying you would assume that politics would be involved because there's a political -- but at the beginning of this story --
MR. SNOW: No, no, no, I said the Political Office would have some knowledge of it.
Q Okay, but at the beginning of this story, the President, you, Dan Bartlett, others said on camera that politics was not involved, this was performance-based.
MR. SNOW: That is something -- we have never said that. I think you'll have to take a look at comments that have been made by the Justice Department. What we've said is that people serve at the pleasure of the President. That's the operative principle here.
Q The President said, I've heard those allegations about political decision-making and it's just not true. I mean, he clearly said politics was not involved, right?
MR. SNOW: Right.
Q So now politics was because the Political Director --
MR. SNOW: No. Just because the Political Director is weighing in on something does not mean that this is politics involved. These are political appointees. Also, if you took a look at the emails that have come out, there was -- at least from the White House side, a very strong effort to say we do not, in fact, want to be impugning the character of these people who have served. And the principle is the same, it's the one that I've been saying from the very beginning, Ed, which is that the President has the authority to remove those who serve at his pleasure. And these were all individuals who had completed their terms as U.S. attorneys.