Here's one trick on how to judge the closeness of official Washington friendships. When a former official blasts his former bosses in a memoir, his friends in that administration are barely mentioned. Case in point: former CIA Director George Tenet's bestselling and controversial At the Center of the Storm. Pal Robert Mueller, head of the FBI, gets a handful of mentions but nothing substantive in a book that sharply criticizes elements of the administration's antiterrorism battle and war in Iraq.
How close is the duo? Well, Mueller was the biggest administration big shot at Tenet's Georgetown University book party last week. Today we finally had a chance to quiz the FBI director about the book, but he proved that friendship is thicker than politics. Whispers: I think you were the highest-profile person at the George Tenet Georgetown University book party last week. What did you think of his book and is there anything you might disagree with? Mueller: You know, I thought I was under the radar. George is a good friend. Whispers: So it was just a sign of support? Mueller: No, he's a good friend. He and his wife have been good friends since I took this job. Whispers: Is there anything you might disagree with? Mueller:I haven't read the full book. I've started. I'm on Page 30. I can't give you much of an insight.