From NYTimes.com :
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January 2, 2006
Bush Defends Spy Program and Denies Misleading Public
By ERIC LICHTBLAU
WASHINGTON, Jan. 1 - President Bush continued on Sunday to defend both the legality and the necessity of the National Security Agency's domestic eavesdropping program, and he denied that he misled the public last year when he insisted that any government wiretap required a court order.
...The New York Times reported Sunday that James B. Comey, then deputy attorney general, refused to sign on to the recertification of the program in March 2004.
That prompted two of Mr. Bush's most senior aides - Andrew H. Card Jr., his chief of staff, and Alberto R. Gonzales, then the White House counsel and now the attorney general - to make an emergency hospital visit to John Ashcroft, then the attorney general, to try to persuade him to give his authorization, as required by White House procedures for the program.
Officials with knowledge of the events said that Mr. Ashcroft also appeared reluctant to sign on to the continued use of the program, and that the Justice Department's concerns appear to have led in part to the suspension of the program for several months. After a secret audit, new protocols were put in place at the N.S.A. to better determine how the agency established the targets of its eavesdropping operations, officials have said.
Asked Sunday about internal opposition, President Bush said: "This program has been reviewed, constantly reviewed, by people throughout my administration. And it still is reviewed.
"Not only has it been reviewed by Justice Department officials, it's been reviewed by members of the United States Congress," he said. "It's a vital, necessary program."