Bush Shocked by Arrest of Former Adviser
Sat Mar 11, 4:39 PM ET
WASHINGTON - President Bush on Saturday said he was shocked and saddened to learn that former domestic policy adviser Claude Allen was charged with theft for allegedly receiving phony refunds at (Target) department stores…
… He had been under investigation since at least January for alleged thefts on 25 occasions at Target and Hecht's stores.
Allen…was named as domestic policy adviser at the White House in early 2005. He resigned abruptly on Feb. 9, saying he wanted to spend more time with his family.
“Spend more time with his family?” What, are they all going to prison, too?
I just don’t understand the current administration.
The President claims he wasn’t told about Mr. Allen’s “law trouble” until early in February, but that seems unlikely to me. Why would White House officials who did know—like Andrew Card and Harriet Miers—keep this information from the President? “Hey, did you know that Claude Allen is going around town ripping off Target stores?” “Yeah, yeah, keep your voice down, willya? We don’t want the President to find out. He might think less of Allen as domestic policy adviser.” “Oh. Okay.”
I think this is a more likely scenario:
(October 2nd, 2005. Excerpt from transcript of digital recording by concealed device planted under glove compartment in vehicle of White House domestic policy adviser Claude Allen. At time of recording said vehicle is apparently in the parking lot of a Target store in Alexandria, Virginia. Occupants of vehicle at this time are Bush domestic policy adviser Claude Allen and President George W. Bush.)
Bush: Okay. So what I do is, I go in and I bring in the shopping bag with the receipt and the Bose radio in it—
Allen: No, no! I told you three times already, you go in with an EMPTY shopping bag and the Target receipt for the Bose radio—
Bush: Why would I go into the store with an empty shopping bag?
Allen: Cause that’s how it works! Jeez! Come on, now pay attention. I already bought the radio, right?
Allen: …And that’s how I got the receipt, right?
Bush: Yeah, I get that, but what good is the receipt, we want the money—
Allen: The receipt is how we get the money! Look, I bought this radio, this one right here, at Target this morning. You go into the store with the empty Target bag, and the receipt for my radio, and you go to the Electronics section where they sell the radios, and you take another radio off the shelf, and you put it in the shopping bag. Then you walk around the store for a bit and then you go over to the Customer Service Desk, and you say you changed your mind, you want to return the radio.
Bush: I changed my mind.
Allen: Yeah, you say you changed your mind, you want to return the radio, and you want a refund. And then the kid at the counter says, “Okay, sir, no problem,” and you give him the radio and the receipt and then he gives you a refund, he gives you cash!
Bush: But I give him the radio.
Allen: Yes! He won’t give you the cash refund unless you give him the radio.
Bush: But you said I could keep the radio.
Allen: You can keep THIS radio! (rustles the bag) I’ll give you THIS radio when you come back outside with the cash. See, it’s the same radio, a Bose radio.
Bush: And we split the cash?
Bush: And this is gonna work?
Allen: Yes! Yes, I do this all the time, I’ve got tons of free appliances and shit around my house, you remember that IPod I gave you for Christmas?
Allen: This is how I got it. Now go on in there.
Bush: But if it’s so easy, why don’t you do it yourself?
Allen: Because they’re starting to know me, they know what I look like, surveillance tapes and stuff, they might recognize me from me pulling this thing at all those other Target stores.
Bush: But won’t they recognize me? I mean, I’m more famous than you, right? I’m the President of the United States, you’re just my domestic policy adviser.
Allen: That’s why you’re wearing the sunglasses. To them you’re just another white guy in sunglasses returning a Bose radio, they won’t say anything to you.
Bush: Yeah… and I get this radio, and half the money, right?
Allen: (deep sigh) Yesss…
Bush: Should I do a, an accent or something? An English accent, so they don’t recognize my voice? (does accent) “Pip pip, this bloody radio doesn’t work, my fine fellow--”
Allen: Jesus… No. Don’t do an accent. Just be yourself, just—
(A woman’s voice is heard from outside the car. It is later identified as the voice of Chief White House Counsel Harriet Miers.)
Miers: Oh, my God, Mr. President, what are you doing in there?
(At this point Miers can be heard rapping on the window of the car.)
Miers: Mr. President! Mr. President! Open up the window.
(Sound of car being started up.)
Miers: Don’t you dare pull away! Claude! I’m talking to you now, Claude, don’t you dare pull out of this parking lot or you’ll both be sorry!
(Ignition turned off.)
Bush: What do we do now, Claude?
Miers: Open this window!
Allen: Shit. Open the window.
(Sound of electric window being opened.)
Bush: How did you know we were here, Harriet?
Miers: Because the Secret Service--Never you mind how I know you were here! Get out of this car immediately, Mr. President, I’m taking you back to the White House—
Bush: Listen, Harriet. How would you like a free Bose radio?
Miers: I don’t want a free Bose radio, I want you to come back to the White House with me this instant. And I must say I’m very disappointed in you, Claude, trying to involve the President in one of your cheesy little receipt and refund scams.
Bush: Now wait a minute, Harriet, wait until you hear the whole story, Claude gets all this free stuff this way, and free money, too, he told me—tell her, Claude.
Miers: I don’t want to know about it! And wait til Vice President Cheney hears about this, you’ll be sorry, Claude—
Allen: I’m sorry right now.
Bush: Aw, Harriet, come on. Don’t tell Dick, he doesn’t have to know. Here, take the radio—
Miers: I don’t want the radio! Come on!
Bush: Please, Harriet! Don’t tell Dick or Laura. Hey—listen. Sandra O’Connor’s retiring. How’d you like to be a Supreme Court Justice?
Miers: I don’t want—huh?
Bush: How’d you like that? Being on the Supreme Court? Job for life?
Miers: Mister-Mr. President…I’d be honored, of course—but don’t you think I’m a little underqualified?
Bush: I think you’re plenty qualified. She’s qualified, ain’t she Claude?
Allen: Oh, yeah.
Bush: See? He says you’re qualified, and he’s my domestic policy advisor. We’ll nominate you, we’ll back you up. Just don’t say anything to Dick about seeing us in the Target parking lot, okay? Deal?
Bush: Come on, get in the car. (sound of car door being opened) Now Claude, I think we all learned something today. You can take this shopping bag and the receipt and go in and try to get that refund, if you want, and we’ll both wait for you in the car here. But I’m keeping this radio. Heh heh heh.