SCHIEFFER: Well, let me just ask you this. If they did not have these weapons of mass destruction, though, granted all of that is true, why then did they pose an immediate threat to us, to this country?
Sec. RUMSFELD: Well, you’re the–you and a few other critics are the only people I’ve heard use the phrase “immediate threat.” I didn’t. The president didn’t. And it’s become kind of folklore that that’s–that’s what’s happened. The president went…
SCHIEFFER: You’re saying that nobody in the administration said that.
Sec. RUMSFELD: I–I can’t speak for nobody–everybody in the administration and say nobody said that.
SCHIEFFER: Vice president didn’t say that? The…
Sec. RUMSFELD: Not–if–if you have any citations, I’d like to see ’em.
Mr. FRIEDMAN: We have one here. It says “some have argued that the nu”–this is you speaking–“that the nuclear threat from Iraq is not imminent, that Saddam is at least five to seven years away from having nuclear weapons. I would not be so certain.”
Sec. RUMSFELD: And–and…
Mr. FRIEDMAN: It was close to imminent.
Sec. RUMSFELD: Well, I’ve–I’ve tried to be precise, and I’ve tried to be accurate. I’m s–
Mr. FRIEDMAN: “No terrorist state poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people and the stability of the world and the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq.”
Sec. RUMSFELD: Mm-hmm. It–my view of–of the situation was that he–he had–we–we believe, the best intelligence that we had and other countries had and that–that we believed and we still do not know–we will know.