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Novak 'probably' regrets Plame leak

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WASHINGTON, Dec 30, 2005 (UPI via COMTEX) -- Syndicated columnist Robert Novak says he "probably" regrets disclosing the name of a CIA operative in a 2003 column that sparked a federal investigation.

In an interview with CNN Friday, Novak insisted he would not discuss the leak of Valerie Plame's identity, but he conceded he regretted disclosing her name in a column about her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson's, criticism of the Bush Administration's rationale for the war in Iraq.

"I probably do because it's caused me so much trouble," said Novak.

A federal grand jury has indicted a top White House on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in connection with the leak.

Novak, 74, told a conservative audience in North Carolina earlier this month that President George W. Bush must know who leaked Plame's name, but he told CNN he should not have said that.

"That was a really dumb thing to say," he said.

Novak would not say whether he believes Bush knows who leaked Plame's name.

Friday was Novak's last day at CNN, although he had been off the air since August, when he used a vulgarity during a live show and walked off the set. He will work for Fox News Channel starting in January.


Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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