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Last Updated: Friday, 4 July, 2003, 05:20 GMT 06:20 UK
Fleischer defends Campbell over Iraq
Ari Fleischer in the Oval Office
Ari Fleischer has had his own run-ins with the media
White House press chief Ari Fleischer has defended UK counterpart Alastair Campbell's role in the row over intelligence on Iraq.

A number of newspapers reported on Friday that Mr Campbell - Tony Blair's communications director - will be cleared of "sexing up" an intelligence dossier on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

The Commons foreign affairs select committee has been examining the allegations - first raised in a BBC story - and will report imminently.

But Mr Fleischer gave his support to Mr Campbell, telling BBC News: "[There] are good people who do the right things for the right reasons.

"In terms of what is taking place in Great Britain now, we have every faith that what they have said is the right thing and the accurate fact.

"I pay attention to what is happening in Great Britain. I have faith in Alastair, I have faith of course in the prime minister and all those around him."

The principal dossier row has been over the September dossier, which contained the claim that Iraq could launch weapons of mass destruction within 45 minutes.

No apology

Mr Campbell has denied he had the claim inserted.

The BBC has refused to apologise for its report, ignoring demands by Mr Campbell.

On Thursday, a leaked letter from Mr Campbell showed the press chief had made a number of requests for changes to the dossier, some of which had been made.

But Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said the leak of the letter, coupled with comments by Eric Illsley, a Labour member of the select committee, called into question the credibility of that committee's inquiry.

Mr Illsley took the unusual step last weekend of publicly saying he expected his colleagues to clear Mr Campbell of any wrongdoing.

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