The latest from the Political Grapevine:
White House Privately Furious?
The White House is privately furious with Pentagon officials over how they've handled President Bush's National Guard records. As recently as February the president asked the Pentagon to release all of his service records, and records were produced.
But then a few months later, more records were produced, and the White House was assured that was all of them. Well, after a Freedom of Information Act request from the AP, the Pentagon has now produced even more records.
And the White House, still unhappy with the last misstep, asked the Pentagon to release them to more than just the AP. But the Pentagon balked ... That is until a senior official forcefully reminded the Pentagon that it was the president who first requested the records' release.
Cocaine At Camp David?
A new book by Kitty Kelley, the gossip biographer who more than once has had her allegations discredited, accuses President Bush of not only doing cocaine years ago, but doing it many times at Camp David ... while his father was president. And, the book says, President Bush may have helped a girlfriend obtain an abortion.
Newsweek magazine has been given an advance copy of the book, but has passed on writing about it because, the editor says, "we weren't comfortable with a lot of the reporting." Apparently no such scruples, though, at NBC's "Today" show which, according to the Washington Post, has booked Kelley for three consecutive interviews on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week.
The "Today" show, by the way, has yet to interview anyone from the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, whose book "Unfit for Command" accuses John Kerry of distorting his Vietnam record.
Accepted An "Ironic Gift"?
Speaking of Kerry, the National Shooting Sports Foundation is making fun of him for accepting what they call an, "ironic gift" at a Labor Day rally in West Virginia. The head of the United Mine Workers of America gave Kerry a Remington 11-87 Premier shotgun, which Kerry held up as if to fire.
But it turns out Kerry has backed legislation that gun-rights groups say would ban his gun and hundreds of others. And he's said Americans, "[have] no right to have access to the weapons of war in the streets of America."
Miller "Betrayed" Democrats' Trust?
Former President Jimmy Carter has written a letter to Georgia Democratic Sen. Zell Miller, accusing him of, "betraying [Democrats'] trust" with his blistering speech at the Republican convention last week.
Carter writes, "there are many of us loyal Democrats who feel uncomfortable in seeing that you have chosen the rich over the poor, ... lies and obfuscation over the truth, and the political technique of personal character assassination as a way to win elections or garner a few moments of applause."
Miller, who says he's received a dozen personal notes from Carter over the years, half of them positive and half negative – responds, "I'm doing OK batting .500 with Jimmy Carter."
— FOX News' Michael Levine contributed to this report