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Inside Politics

First lady: 'My husband wants the very highest ethics'

U.S. first lady Laura Bush spoke to CNN's Soledad O'Brien at the National Hotel across from Red Square in Moscow.
U.S. first lady Laura Bush spoke to CNN's Soledad O'Brien at the National Hotel across from Red Square in Moscow.

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CNN's Soledad O'Brien travels to Europe with first lady Laura Bush. Tune in for reports.
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CNN's Soledad O'Brien talks to first lady Laura Bush about her European trip.
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CNN's Soledad O'Brien on Laura Bush's first stop, in France.
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MOSCOW, Russia (CNN) -- The first lady Wednesday weighed in on the Washington leak story, saying President Bush "wants the very highest ethics in the White House" and "certainly doesn't want to think there are any leaks out of the White House."

CNN's Soledad O'Brien asked Laura Bush about the revelation of the classified identity of a CIA operative and the Justice Department's probe into it in an interview for CNN's "American Morning."

"My reaction is the same that I know the president's was, which is he certainly doesn't want to think there are any leaks out of the White House," she said. "And I know they are cooperating fully with any sort of investigation."

The leak named the wife of a diplomat -- a former ambassador who revealed flaws in intelligence the administration used to justify war in Iraq -- as a CIA operative. (Full story)

Administration officials are expecting "anyone who might have done that, if they did, to come forward," Mrs. Bush said.

"My husband wants the very highest ethics in the White House. So, I suspect whenever this washes out, we'll see who did it, if anyone did."

Mrs. Bush was asked about the presidential race and the current popularity of Democratic candidate Wesley Clark.

"I'm not really that concerned about anyone on the other side right now until we actually know who that candidate is going to be. I think the polls will go up and down as various candidates light up little a bit and then move on."

She said she's glad to be a "world away" from the domestic political scene.

In her first solo overseas trip since the war in Iraq began, the first lady is attending a book festival put on by Russian President Vladimir Putin's wife, and earlier visited France.

White House officials said Mrs. Bush paid a social call on French President Jacques Chirac in Paris -- a visit described as "gracious, friendly and charming."

Chirac kissed the first lady's hand as he welcomed her to the presidential palace for the short meeting.

While in France, Mrs. Bush also gave a keynote address to a meeting of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), promising that the United States would be a "full, active and enthusiastic participant" in the group, which it has rejoined after a 19-year absence.

UNESCO earlier this year named the first lady its honorary ambassador for the U.N. Decade of Literacy, which addresses the 860 million adults and 113 million children around the world who can't read or write.


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