Monday, February 21, 2005 / White House raps author for secret tapes /White House raps author for secret tapes NEW YORK -- The White House lashed out yesterday at the Bush family friend who secretly tape-recorded the future president discussing issues such as drug use and gay rights.

Even though aides insisted there was little damaging information on the tapes, they made no effort to hide the fact that President Bush felt betrayed by conservative author Doug Wead.

"These were casual conversations with someone whom the president considered, or believed to be, a friend," said White House spokesman Ken Lisaius.

Wead said he made the tapes, from 1998 to 2000, for a book because he believed Bush would become a "pivotal figure in history."

"I had a choice to either write propaganda about the Bushes or write accurately and fairly based on what I knew," Wead told ABC's "Good Morning America."

Wead said his publisher insisted on listening to the tapes to confirm anonymous sources he cited in his new book, "The Raising of a President." The New York Times then got wind of the tapes, Wead said, and it "all became unraveled."

The tapes were made as Bush considered a run for the White House.


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