The President briefed the top TV anchors in person about what he was going to say. NBC's Brian Williams and Tim Russert (no link) were explicit that they had sat down with Bush himself. CBS' Katie Couric and Bob Schieffer (no link) repeated that old euphemism "senior administration officials."
It was clear that Schieffer's "officials" were the Commander in Chief himself. Russert recounted what Bush told him he said to al-Maliki: "My neck is on the line. If you lose Bush, the primary benefactor of this war, you are in grave straits." Schieffer used this formulation: "Putting his neck on the line, was the way it was described…We heard that senior official briefing. There is no question that President Bush is fed up with this Iraqi government…He said it in even tougher language to the Iraqis. This is your turn. You have got to do this or you are going to risk losing the support of your main benefactor, George Bush."
Russert also recounted this conversation with White House "advisors:" "What if this surge-escalation does not work? What is Plan B? The response: We are not answering that."
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