George W. Bush vets dismiss Tom Ridge claims – Andy Barr –

Top officials from the George W. Bush White House are disputing claims in former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge’s coming book that they pressured him to adjust the terror threat level for political gain.

“We went over backwards repeatedly and with great discipline to make sure politics did not influence any national security and homeland security decisions,” former White House chief of staff Andy Card told POLITICO. “The clear instructions were to make sure politics never influenced anything.”

“I’m a little mystified,” former homeland security adviser Fran Townsend added in an interview. “Never in my experience did I see any political influence exerted on the cabinet secretary.”

According to promotional materials for Ridge’s coming book, “The Test of Our Times: America Under Siege…And How We Can Be Safe Again,” the ex-homeland security secretary and governor of Pennsylvania accuses the Bush White House of pushing him to “raise the national security alert just before the 2004 Election.”