Photos show Bush, Abramoff buddy-buddy

Although President Bush says he doesn’t recall meeting convicted
lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the two have turned up in photos
together, confirming an exclusive story printed last week in Capitol Hill Blue.

Both Washingtonian and Time magazines have reported the existence of about a half-dozen photos showing the two together. Capitol Hill Blue reported on January 18 that Abramoff kept an autographed photo of he and Bush in his office.

reported on its Web site Sunday that its staff members have seen at
least six photos featuring Bush and Abramoff, who has pleaded guilty to
federal charges stemming from his lobbying practices and has pledged to
cooperate with investigators. They appeared to have been taken at White
House functions, according to the reports.

The White House has
acknowledged that Abramoff attended some events at the Executive
Mansion, and spokeswoman Dana Perino said Sunday it’s not surprising
that the two would have met.

“The president has taken tens upon thousands of pictures at such events,” Perino said.

met a few times with White House staff and attended Hanukkah receptions
in 2001 and 2002, the White House has said, but officials there have
refused to disclose how many times he’s been into the complex or what
business he had there.

The White House also has not released any
photos featuring the president and Abramoff, who was declared a Bush
“pioneer” for raising at least $100,000 for the Bush-Cheney ’04
re-election campaign.

Contributions that came directly from
Abramoff, his wife and one of the American Indian tribes he represented
_ a total of $6,000 _ were donated to the American Heart Association by
the campaign just days after Abramoff entered his guilty pleas.

White House, after playing down the Bush-Abramoff photos and the
lobbyist’s ties to the president, criticized Abramoff for breaking the
law. “Mr. Abramoff admitted being involved in outrageous wrongdoing,”
Perino said.