Matt Cooper: ‘I Spoke to Rove on Double Super Secret Background’

Newsweek has seen the email sent by Time Magazine reporter Matt Cooper to his editor recapping the phone call he had with Karl Rove in which Rove tried to spin him on the White House contretemps with former ambassador Joe Wilson over Saddam Hussein’s nuclear capabilities.

Cooper: “KR said it was wilson’s wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd who authorized the trip.”

What is critical here is that in Cooper’s raw notes from his “double super secret” conversation with Rove, he wrote that Rove told him that Wilson’s wife was involved in the search for WMD. He knew, but he simply did not care. Going after a political enemy was more important to him than United States national security:

It was 11:07 on a Friday morning, July 11, 2003, and Time magazine correspondent Matt Cooper was tapping out an e-mail to his bureau chief, Michael Duffy. “Subject: Rove/P&C,” (for personal and confidential), Cooper began. “Spoke to Rove on double super secret background for about two mins before he went on vacation …”

…In [his] brief conversation with Rove, Cooper asked what to make of the flap over Wilson’s criticisms… [He] wrote that Rove offered him a “big warning” not to “get too far out on Wilson.” Rove told Cooper that Wilson’s trip had not been authorized by “DCIA”—CIA Director George Tenet—or Vice President Dick Cheney. Rather, “it was, KR said, wilson’s wife, who apparently works at the agency on wmd [weapons of mass destruction] issues who authorized the trip.” Wilson’s wife is Plame, then an undercover agent working as an analyst in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations counterproliferation division. (Cooper later included the essence of what Rove told him in an online story.) The e-mail characterizing the conversation continues: “not only the genesis of the trip is flawed an[d] suspect but so is the report. he [Rove] implied strongly there’s still plenty to implicate iraqi interest in acquiring uranium fro[m] Niger … “


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