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European Closing Bell

A former White House terrorism advisor to President George W. Bush has made serious allegations that the President ignored the threat that Al Qaeda posed to U.S. security. In his recently published book, Richard Clarke claims that President Bush was obsessed with Iraq, did not see the threat posed by Al Qaeda before September 11, and repeatedly asked Clarke to find a connection between 9/11 and Iraq.

As a former Senior Policy Advisor to President Bush, Kirkland partner Jay Lefkowitz defended Bush's stance on terrorism and said that he was surprised by Clarke's comments.

"President Bush did not ignore the Al Qaeda concern," said Lefkowitz, in an interview for CNBC Europe's "European Closing Bell" program. Lefkowitz emphasized that the terrorism committee met at least once a day, and always had ready access to give Presidential briefings.

Lefkowitz reiterated that Bush was very focused on eliminating terrorism and making the U.S. homeland safer. He encouraged the world to follow the lead of President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair in fighting the war on terror.

This story was aired in its entirety on CNBC Europe's "European Closing Bell" program on March 22, 2003 at 5:20 London Time.