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President Bush today in Washington, D.C. (epa)
April 7, 2006 -- The White House sought to defend U.S. President George W. Bush against allegations he authorized the leaking of classified information ahead of the 2003 U.S.-led Iraq invasion in order to bolster his case for war.
White House spokesman Scott McLellan told reporters that Bush would not disclose information that would jeopardize U.S. security.
"The president of the United States has the authority to declassify information. The president would never authorize the disclosure of information that he felt could compromise our nation's security."
Court documents released this week cite an aide to Vice President Dick Cheney as saying Cheney told him that Bush had "specifically authorized" information to be leaked from a classified intelligence assessment of Iraq.
Parts of the assessment were later printed in U.S. newspapers, bolstering the Bush administration's claim that Saddam Hussein was trying to rebuild Iraq's weapons-of-mass-destruction programs. That claim later proved to be wrong.