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Transcript: Bush Announces New Intel Chief

And also, where is Mr. Negroponte going to work? Will he be in the White House complex close to you? Will he give you your intelligence briefings every day?

BUSH: I think your assessment's right. People who control the money, people who have access to the president generally have a lot of influence. And that's why John Negroponte is going to have a lot of influence. He will set the budgets.

John Negroponte appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when he was named ambassador to Iraq. (Larry Downing - Reuters File Photo)

_____From The Post_____
Bush Nominates Negroponte to New Intel Post (The Washington Post, Feb 17, 2005)

Listen, this is going to take a while to get a new culture in place, a different way of approaching the budget process.

That's why I selected John. He's a diplomat. He understands the -- and he's an experienced person. He understands the power centers in Washington. He's been a consumer of intelligence in the past. And so he's got a good feel for how to move this process forward in a way that addresses the different interests.

Now, as to where he offices, you know, I don't know. It's not going to be in the White House.

Remember the early debate about should this man or person be a member of the Cabinet? I said no, I didn't think so. I thought it was very important for the DNI to be apart from the White House.

Nevertheless, he will have access on a daily basis in that he'll be my primary briefer.

BUSH: In other words, when the intelligence briefings start in the morning, John'll be there. And John and I'll work to determine how much exposure the CIA will have in the Oval Office. I would hope more rather than less.

The relationship between John and the CIA director's going to be a vital relationship. The relationship between the CIA and the White House is a vital relationship.

John and I both know that change -- it can be unsettling. And so therefore, I'm sure there's some people out there wondering right now what this means for their jobs and the influence of a particular agency into the White House.

And the answer is everybody will be given fair access and everybody's ideas will be given a chance to make it to John's office. And if he thinks it's appropriate I see it, I'll see it. And if he thinks it's a waste of my time I won't see it. And obviously -- therefore the conclusion is I trust his judgment.

And I'm looking forward to working with him. It's going to be an interesting opportunity.

QUESTION: Will you back him when he goes up against Don Rumsfeld? Rumsfeld wants a certain amount of money for his intelligence budget, Negroponte says, "I don't think so"?

BUSH: You know, I don't think it necessarily works. I know that's how the press sometimes likes to play discussions inside the White House, you know, X versus Y, you know, butting of heads and sharp elbows.

BUSH: Generally it works more civilly than that. People make their case. There's a discussion. But ultimately John will make the decisions on the budget.

Backing means it's, kind of, zero sum. That's not the way our team works. It's not a zero-sum attitude in the White House.

It is -- people have strong opinions around here, which is -- I would hope you'd want your president to have people around who've got strong opinions, people who are willing to stand up for what they believe, people who say, you know, "Here's what I think is right." It may not be what so and so thinks is right. Then the question is do I have the capacity to, you know, pick the right answer, to be able to make a decision, I think.

People have seen that I'm capable of making decisions and one reason why I feel comfortable making them is that I get good advice. And John is going to be a great adviser.

QUESTION: A top European Union official said that Dr. Rice's trip -- Secretary Rice's trip to Europe was very positive. He described it as, "Romance blossoms once two are determined to get married."

He also said that he did not expect that there would be any kind of substantive differences in U.S. policy on your own trip to Europe, but he had hoped that it would help increase the sense of trust between the United States and European allies.

QUESTION: What do you have to offer or say to European allies to help restore that trust, particularly the trust in U.S. intelligence?

BUSH: You know, my first goal is to remind both Americans and Europeans that the trans-Atlantic relationship is very important for our mutual security and for peace; and that we have differences sometimes, but we don't differ on values, that we share this great love and respect for freedom.

September the 11th was an interesting phenomenon in terms of our relations. For some in Europe, it was just a passing terrible moment. And for us, it caused us to change our foreign policy -- in other words, a permanent part of our foreign policy.

And those differences at times, frankly, cause us to talk past each other, and I recognize that. And I want to make sure the Europeans understand I know that, and that as we move beyond the differences of the past, that we can work a lot together to achieve big objectives.

There's also a concern in Europe, I suspect, that the only thing I care about is our national security. And clearly, you know, since we have been attacked -- and I fear there's a terrorist group out there thinking about attacking us again and would like to -- that national security is the top of my agenda.

BUSH: That's what you'd expect from the president of the United States.

But we also care deeply about hunger and disease, and I look forward to working with the Europeans on hunger and disease.

We care about the climate. Obviously, the Kyoto Protocol had been a problem in the past. They thought the treaty made sense; I didn't. And neither did the United States Senate when it rejected, you know, the Kyoto concept 95-0.

And so, there's an opportunity now to work together to talk about new technologies that will help us both achieve a common objective, which is a better environment for generations to come.

And, you know, the methanes-to-markets project is an interesting opportunity.

I spoke to my friend Tony Blair the other day and I reminded him that here at home we're spending billions on clean coal technology, where we could -- you know, it's conceivable and hopeful we'll have a zero-emissions coal plant, which would be not only good for the United States, but it would be good for the world.

BUSH: This isn't a question of one environment, but I was hoping somebody would ask it. I asked myself.

Anyway, let me -- so I'm looking forward to discussing issues that not only relate to our security, that not only relate to how we work together to spread freedom, you know, how we continue to embrace the values we believe in, but also how we deal with hunger and disease and environmental concerns.

Let's see. Have I gone through all the TV personalities yet?



QUESTION: Mr. President, good morning.

BUSH: Face made for radio, I might add.

QUESTION: Thank you. My mother appreciates it.

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