WASHINGTON – President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were first in line when 650 new White House employees took a required drug test last January.
"They were tested as a condition of employment here," White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said Thursday. He discussed internal White House drug policies on the same day Bush named a new director to the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Since that first round of testing, Fleischer said 127 White House staffers have been randomly tested. "There are no problems that have been brought to anybody's attention," he said.
Although Bush said in a Rose Garden ceremony that he believes in "a moral refusal to accept" illegal drugs, Fleischer described a White House policy that falls short of zero tolerance.
Any White House aide who tests positive for drugs would "have to take action and it will be decided on a case-by-case basis," Fleischer said.
Officials would consider what kind of drug was involved and whether it was "some type of casual usage or more serious problem," before deciding on a consequence ranging from a letter of reprimand to firing, Fleischer said.