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The morning shows led with blanket Ivan coverage.
As a segue to the interview NBC's Matt Lauer takes a brief look back at author Kitty Kelley's career, noting "her credibility has often been called into question." Kelley thanks Matt for having her own saying "I know the WH put great pressure on NBC and the network and you not to have me on." Lauer says the book is 99% negative to which Kelley says "I think its 99% realistic. All it does is lift the blinders." She says this is not a partisan book but there are "relevant themes here."
Lauer asks Kelley about the story on page 266, where she alleges that 43 did drugs at Camp David. Kelley says it's serious because the President says he wasn't doing drugs at the time. She says her sources for this were Sharon Bush and one unnamed source. She says she learned of all this information during a lunch with Sharon Bush and her publicist, which she did not tape record because she says "what is better than a witness?"
Lauer says Dan Bartlett, speaking on behalf of the President, says these allegations are an outright lie. Kelley responds: "Look what they did to Richard Clarke. Look what they did to Paul O'Neil." Lauer then teases another interview with Kelley tomorrow morning.
NBC's Matt Lauer sits down with Sharon Bush to discuss the allegations in Kitty Kelley's book. Bush says she never saw the use of cocaine and is "sticking by it." Bush says she was stunned when Kelley mentioned her as a source for the drug allegation. She details how she was courted by Kelley, saying she thought Kelley was going to help her and at the time she was looking for work. She says she is currently talking to a lawyer about possibly taking legal action. Finally, when asked about her relationship with 43, Bush says prior to her estrangement from the family "it was great. He was a funny entertaining guy."
GMA's "Politics Uncensored" showcased Claire Shipman's look at Kitty Kelley's "literary bombshell." Shipman reports the book consists of "700 pages of intimate details, not always flattering" of President Bush and the Bush family just a mere 50 days before the election. Shipman claims the "most stunning allegation" in the tome is that President Bush used cocaine at Camp David when his father was president. However, this is sourced to Sharon Bush in the book who has since said she did not say that to Ms. Kelley at their four hour lunch. "Most details aren't new," reports Shipman and the book's political impact is still not entirely clear.
ASSAULT WEAPONS BAN:
ABC's John Yang looked at the likely passing of the assault weapons ban with the NRA's Wayne LaPierre providing the anti-ban point of view and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) voiced the pro-ban side.
CBS' Thalia Assuras highlights the "Democratic fury" and the overall controversy on the day when the assault weapons ban expires. Assuras says Bush has said he would support extending the ban but he has nothing to sign. Finally, she examines how the expiration of the ban will affect gun retailers. This piece was followed by interviews with Wayne LaPierre from the NRA and Sarah Brady.
NBC's Chip Reid notes "there is some confusion as to when the ban expires." Reid briefly mentions Sen. Kerry's position on assault weapons (supports the ban) and previews what's happening in the Senate this week: The Senate holds a hearing on Porter Goss; Congress will soon engage in a "heated debate" over the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. In addition, the Bush administration is expected to ask congress for billions of dollars for more hurricane relief.
THE NEW POLL NUMBERS:
From a diner in Lehigh County's Allentown, Pennsylvania ABC's Jake Tapper keyed off the TIME Magazine poll numbers from the weekend showing President Bush and John Kerry in a statistical tie among women voters, a demographic Democrats have come to count on for support. Bush-Cheney spokeswoman Jennifer Millerwise claims Senator Kerry is having trouble because he didn't lay out a vision for the future in his convention speech. Stephanie Cutter of the Kerry-Edwards campaign said John Kerry has historically appealed to women voters and will continue to fight for every last vote including those of women.
Two-way with NBC's Matt Lauer and Tim Russert. Russert highlights a new Annenberg poll on assault weapons, which shows a large majority of Americans support the expiration of the ban and 57% own a weapon. Lauer notes "people who favor the ban don't favor the issue." The new Time and Newsweek polls show a 5-point advantage for Bush in the horserace. Russert says he Bush has momentum coming out of convention and has been able to keep the focus on the war on terror. Russert notes voters are much more interested and concerned about the war on terror than anything else and that is "temporarily" bad for Kerry. He says that Kerry needs to move the focus back to the economy.
CBS sits down with Craig Crawford of the Congressional Quarterly and looks at the numbers in the recent Newsweek Poll (49% for Bush, 43% for Kerry). Crawford notes some thinks Hillary Clinton's chances in the future are better if Kerry loses the election. He says Clinton can help the Kerry campaign by exciting voters and getting them to the polls.
On CNN's American Morning Bill Schneider chatted with Miles O'Brien about the gender gap and said, "Soccer moms may becoming security moms" which would explain their attraction to President Bush. Schneider also talked about Kerry's overall poll problems by saying, "Kerry doesn't own any issue the way Bill Clinton owned the economy in 1992" or George Bush owns the issue of fighting terrorism this year.
CNN's Heidi Collins read a vo/sot on John Kerry's statement jumping on Colin Powell's "Meet the Press" assertion that there is no definitive link between Iraq and the 9/11 attacks by Al Qaeda.
In a quick tell, ABC's Robin Roberts updated viewers on President Clinton's whereabouts. "Former President Clinton is back home and was seen on the back deck of his Westchester County home over the weekend," reported Roberts while showing a still photograph of the former President on that back deck we presume.