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Bush Stands by Rumsfeld - 2004-05-06

Despite public expressions of confidence in his defense secretary, news reports say President Bush has privately admonished Donald Rumsfeld for failing to inform him about photos of prisoner abuse in Iraq. More pictures of Iraqi prisoners apparently being abused have been published by The Washington Post.

Newspapers quoted unidentified White House officials as saying President Bush complained to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld for his failure to inform him about the photographs. President Bush said he became aware of them only when they were broadcast on television last week, five-months after an investigation into abuse at the Abu Ghraib prison began.

The images have led to multiple investigations and several apologies from top U.S. civilian and military officials, as well as criminal charges against six American guards.

Members of Congress are expressing outrage that they were not informed earlier about the photos, with some raising the possibility that Defense Secretary Rumsfeld might resign. This is Republican Senator John McCain. "It is obvious that there is a lot of explaining that Secretary Rumsfeld and others have to do, including why Congress was never informed as to this," he said.

President Bush said that he is standing by his defense secretary and has expressed his sorrow over the prisoner abuse.