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Bush announces 'respect' for Lott decision

President Bush called Lott a
President Bush called Lott a "valued friend."

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• Gallery: Reactions
• Profile: Bill Frist
• Timeline: Fall of a Leader
• Timeline: Trent Lott's Career

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush Friday praised Sen. Trent Lott as a "valued friend" and said he respected his decision to step down as majority leader.

In a statement released by the White House, Bush said:

"I respect the very difficult decision Trent made on behalf of the American people. As majority and minority leader of the Senate, Trent Lott improved education for the American people; he led the way in securing tax relief; he strengthened our national security: and he stood for a bold and effective foreign policy.

"Trent is a valued friend, and a man I respect.

"I am pleased he will continue to serve our nation in the Senate, and I look forward to working with him on our agenda to make America safer, stronger, and better."

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