Ari Fleischer

Lawrence Ari Fleischer (born October 13, 1960) is an American media consultant and political aide, who served as the twenty-first White House Press Secretary for President George W. Bush, from January 2001 to July 2003. Today, he works as a media consultant for the NFL,[1] College Football Playoff, and other various sports organizations and players through his company, Ari Fleischer Communications.[2] He was also an international media consultant to former Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper.[3][4] He helped Mark McGwire in his media strategy for his admission of steroid usage. He is also a regular Fox News contributor. He was also briefly hired by Tiger Woods to help him with a strategy to make his entrance back on the PGA Tour, but was not retained after news stories surfaced promoting his representation of Woods. He was hired by the Green Bay Packers as a consultant in August 2008.

Ari Fleischer
Ari Fleischer 1
21st White House Press Secretary
In office
January 20, 2001 – July 15, 2003
PresidentGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byJake Siewert
Succeeded byScott McClellan
Personal details
Lawrence Ari Fleischer

October 13, 1960 (age 58)
Pound Ridge, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Rebecca Davis (m. 2002)
EducationMiddlebury College (BA)
WebsiteOfficial website

Early life

Fleischer was born in Pound Ridge, New York, the son of Martha, a database coordinator, and Alan A. Fleischer, owner of an executive recruiting company named Fleischer Search.[5] His parents were Jewish; his mother is a Hungarian immigrant who lost much of her family in the Holocaust.[6] He graduated from Fox Lane High School in Bedford, New York, in 1978, and graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont in 1982.

Congressional staffer

Upon his graduation from Middlebury, Fleischer worked as press secretary for Jon S. Fossel, a Republican candidate for a New York congressional seat. Later Fleischer worked as press secretary for U.S. congressman, Norman Lent. From 1985 to 1988, he was the field-director for the National Republican Congressional Committee. He went back to being a press secretary in 1988, working for congressman Joseph DioGuardi for a short time.

Fleischer served as U.S. senator Pete Domenici's press secretary, from 1989 to 1994. He then served as spokesman for the House of Representatives' Ways and Means Committee for five years. He worked as deputy communications director for George H. W. Bush's 1992 reelection campaign.

White House press secretary

Although Fleischer served as communications director for Elizabeth Dole during her presidential run in the 2000 election campaign, he joined George W. Bush's presidential campaign after Dole dropped out of the race. When Bush became the President in 2001, he tapped Fleischer to become the first press secretary of his administration. He was press secretary when the September 11 attacks occurred. 13 years later, Fleischer live-tweeted the attacks as they happened from his perspective as press secretary in 2014.[7]

Fleischer is credited with having been the first to introduce the phrase "homicide bombing" to describe what has also been called suicide bombing, in April 2002, to emphasize the terrorist connotations of the tactic:

The president ... convened a meeting of the National Security Council, at which point, in the middle of the meeting, the president was informed about this morning's homicide bombing in Jerusalem ... The Saudi telethon, as they have told it to us, is to provide assistance to the Palestinian people, and that isn't – no money is going to go to provide the homicide bombers with any assistance from the Saudi government.

— Ari Fleischer, "White House Regular Briefing," Federal News Service, April 12, 2002

On May 19, 2003, he announced that he would resign during the summer, citing a desire to spend more time with his wife and to work in the private sector. He was replaced by deputy press secretary Scott McClellan on July 15, 2003.

Alleged role in Plame affair

Fleischer became an important figure in the CIA leak case; he testified that Scooter Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, told him that Valerie Plame was a covert agent weeks before Libby had claimed to have been informed of Plame's status by a reporter.

On July 7, 2003, at The James S. Brady Briefing Room, Fleischer was asked about Joseph Wilson, a former U.S. ambassador who had recently written a New York Times editorial criticizing the intelligence information the Bush administration had relied upon to make its case for invading the nation of Iraq. Specifically, Fleischer was asked to respond to Mr. Wilson's assertion that he had been sent to Niger to investigate claims that Saddam Hussein had sought yellowcake uranium and found no evidence that such events had ever occurred.

Q: Can you give us the White House account of Ambassador Wilson's account of what happened when he went to Niger and investigated the suggestions that Niger was passing yellow cake to Iraq? I'm sure you saw the piece yesterday in The New York Times.

FLEISCHER: Well, there is zero, nada, nothing new here. Ambassador Wilson, other than the fact that now people know his name, has said all this before. But the fact of the matter is in his statements about the Vice President—the Vice President's office did not request the mission to Niger. The Vice President's office was not informed of his mission and he was not aware of Mr. Wilson's mission until recent press accounts—press reports accounted for it.[8]

Fleischer testified in open court on January 29, 2007, that Libby told him on July 7, 2003, at lunch, about Plame, who is Wilson's wife. MSNBC correspondent David Shuster summarized Fleisher's testimony on Hardball with Chris Matthews:

Ambassador Wilson was sent to Niger by his wife. His wife works at the CIA," Fleischer recalled Libby saying. Libby said the information was "hush-hush, on the Q-T."

He testified that "The information about Wilson's wife was news to me. It was the first time I had ever heard it."[9]

Fleischer also testified to the fact that Dan Bartlett, the president's communications adviser, told him the same thing on Air Force One days later on the way to Niger with President Bush. Fleischer had then relayed this information to Time correspondent John Dickerson and NBC's David Gregory in Uganda during the African trip.[10][11]

Dickerson denied that such a conversation ever took place.[12] Fleischer gave his final "Press Briefing" on July 14, 2003.

On July 18, 2005, Bloomberg reported that in his sworn testimony before the grand jury investigating the leak, Fleischer denied having seen a memo circulating in Air Force One on July 7, 2003, which named Plame in connection to Wilson's mission and which identified her as a "CIA" covert agent. However, a former Bush Administration official also on the plane testified to having seen Fleischer perusing the document.[13][14]

Columnist Robert Novak, who published Plame's name on July 14, 2003, made a call to Fleischer on July 7, 2003, before Fleischer's trip to Africa with President Bush. It is unclear whether Fleischer returned Novak's call.[13] However, Fleischer is mentioned in Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's indictment of Libby. The indictment states that Libby told Fleischer (referred to as the White House press secretary in the indictment) that Plame worked for the "CIA" and that this fact was not well known.

After receiving an immunity agreement, Fleischer testified that he had revealed Plame's identity to reporters after learning it from Libby.[11] However, in the end it was discovered that Richard Armitage first leaked Plame's identity, not Libby or Cheney.


Fleischer published a memoir, Taking Heat: The President, the Press and My Years in the White House, in 2005. Michiko Kakutani wrote in The New York Times, "[T]his book does not provide any new insights into the workings of the current White House. It does not present compelling portraits of cabinet members or members of the White House supporting cast. And it does not shed new light on the president or his methods of governance." She found the book "insular, defensive and wholly predictable."[15] In, Eric Boehlert declared that despite "a few curious nuggets," the book is "long on praise for his boss and criticism of the 'liberal' media, and short on revelations."[15]

Personal life

In November 2002, Fleischer married Rebecca Elizabeth Davis, an employee in the Office of Management and Budget, in an interfaith ceremony.[16] Rabbi Harold S. White officiated the ceremony, with the participation of Rev. Michael J. Kelley, a Roman Catholic priest.[5] They reside in New York with their son and daughter.[16] They have been raising their children Jewish and are members of a synagogue in Westchester, New York.[16] Fleischer's brother, Michael, worked for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.

He is on the board of the Republican Jewish Coalition.[17]

He enjoys playing baseball in his free time and is a member of the two-time President's Cup champion Ridgefield Rockers.

In other media

Fleischer is portrayed by Rob Corddry in Oliver Stone's W., a biographical movie about George W. Bush.


  1. ^ Triplett, Mike (August 18, 2008). "Media consultant Fleischer to visit". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved December 7, 2008.
  2. ^ "Ari Fleischer Communications". Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  3. ^ Alberts, Sheldon (April 16, 2009). "PMO hires two former White House strategists". National Post. Washington. Canwest News Service. The Conservative government has hired two former White House communications strategists as part of a "sustained" effort to raise Canada's profile in the U.S. media — with Prime Minister Stephen Harper acting as salesman-in-chief, Canwest News Service has learned. The Prime Minister's Office yesterday said it had retained Mike McCurry, a former press secretary to Bill Clinton, and Ari Fleischer, who held the same job during George W. Bush's first term, on temporary contracts to help Mr. Harper land interviews with leading US television networks and newspapers.
  4. ^ "Harper hired former Bush spokesman twice". CBC News. The Canadian Press. January 6, 2010.
  5. ^ a b "WEDDINGS/CELEBRATIONS; Rebecca Davis, Ari Fleischer". The New York Times. November 10, 2002. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  6. ^ Tom Tugend,"Q&A with Ari Fleischer", Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, December 25, 2003.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Press Secretary Briefings" (Press release). Office of the Press Secretary The White House. July 7, 2003. Retrieved 2008-12-07.
  9. ^ Shuster, David (January 29, 2007). "Libby trial: Jurors taking note of Fleischer testimony". Hardball with Chris Matthews. Archived from the original on February 10, 2007. Retrieved March 7, 2007.
  10. ^ Meek, James Gordon (January 30, 2007). "Fleischer says he leaked Plame's CIA employment". New York Daily News.
  11. ^ a b Leonnig, Carol D.; Goldstein, Amy (January 25, 2007). "Ex-CIA Official Testifies About Libby's Calls". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 26, 2007.
  12. ^ Dickerson, John (January 29, 2007). "My Surreal Day at the Libby Trial". Dispatches From the Scooter Libby Trial – via
  13. ^ a b "Prosecutor's Probe Centers on Rove, Memo, Phone Calls (Update2)". July 18, 2005.
  14. ^ Froomkin, Dan (April 11, 2005). "Cheney's Unforgivable Egotism". The Washington Post.
  15. ^ a b Kakutani, Michiko (March 1, 2005). "BOOKS OF THE TIMES - After Years of Taking Heat, Spokesman Takes Potshots". The New York Times. Retrieved October 15, 2016.
  16. ^ a b c McKinstry, Jerry (April 4, 2016). "From Pound Ridge To Pennsylvania Ave—And Back". Westchester. Archived from the original on August 15, 2016. Retrieved April 16, 2018 – via
  17. ^ "Ari Fleischer, Board of Directors". Republican Jewish Coalition. Archived from the original on July 21, 2011. Retrieved June 30, 2009.

Further reading

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Jake Siewert
White House Press Secretary
Succeeded by
Scott McClellan
2008 New York's 19th congressional district election

The New York 19th congressional district election for the 111th United States Congress was held on November 4, 2008. Freshman incumbent John Hall is the nominee for the Democratic Party. Hall narrowly defeated incumbent Sue Kelly by 6,000 votes in 2006.

On May 22, 2008, Republican delegates from each of the five counties represented in the 19th district met in Mahopac, New York to endorse a candidate, and chose candidate Kieran Lalor.

Ami Magazine

Ami (Hebrew: עמי‎, "My people") is an international news magazine that caters to the Jewish community. It is published weekly in New York and Israel. The magazine was launched in November 2010 by the husband & wife team of Rabbi Yitzchok Frankfurter (previously Torah Editor for Mishpacha) and Rechy Frankfurter (previously Mishpacha's American Desk Editor.)

Dan Bartlett

Daniel Joseph Bartlett (born June 1, 1971) was a Counselor to the President in the administration of George W. Bush. The position was previously held by Karen Hughes, who vacated the post in 2002. On June 1, 2007, Bartlett announced that would be leaving the White House on July 5. He was replaced by Ed Gillespie, the Republican gubernatorial nominee in Virginia in 2017.

February 2003 Saddam Hussein interview

The Saddam interview refers to a famous television interview that occurred between President of Iraq Saddam Hussein and American news anchor Dan Rather on February 24, 2003, very shortly before the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. The interview was aired both in the United States and on all three Iraqi television networks. British politician Tony Benn had also interviewed Saddam earlier that month.


Fleischer (or Fleisher) is a common German and Yiddish family name. Its literal meaning is "butcher". Other German family names with the same meaning include Metzger, Mezger, Fleischman, and Fleischmann.

Fox Lane High School

Fox Lane High School is a public high school located in Bedford, New York. It is named after the road, Fox Lane, that begins just to the side of the school's driveway.

George J. Terwilliger III

George J. Terwilliger III (born June 5, 1950) is an American lawyer and public official. He is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of McGuireWoods LLP where he is head of the firm's Crisis Response practice and co-head of its white collar team. He is a former United States Deputy Attorney General and acting United States Attorney General. Terwilliger, of Vermont, was nominated on February 14, 1992, by President George H.W. Bush to be Deputy Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice. He succeeded William Pelham Barr. As Deputy Attorney General, Terwilliger became the second-highest-ranking official in the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) and ran the day-to-day operations of the Department, serving in that position from 1991 through 1993. He was appointed to the position by President George H.W. Bush after serving as the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont, appointed by President Reagan.

John Dickerson (journalist)

John Frederick Dickerson (born July 6, 1968) is an American journalist. He is a co-host of CBS This Morning along with Norah O'Donnell, Gayle King and Bianna Golodryga. Previously he was the host of Face the Nation on CBS News, the political director of CBS News, chief Washington correspondent for CBS News, and a political columnist for Slate magazine.

Before hosting Face the Nation, he was the longtime chief political correspondent at Slate. Before joining Slate, Dickerson covered politics at Time magazine for 12 years, serving the last four years as its White House correspondent.

List of After Words interviews first aired in 2005

After Words is an American television series on the C-SPAN2 network’s weekend programming schedule known as Book TV. The program is an hour-long talk show, each week featuring an interview with the author of a new nonfiction book. The program has no regular host. Instead, each author is paired with a guest host who is familiar with the author or the subject matter of their book.

Michael Paul Fleischer

Michael Paul Fleischer is a United States businessman from the state of New Jersey.

Murray Dry

Murray Dry is an American political scientist specializing in American constitutional law, American political thought, political philosophy, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, federalism, separation of powers, and the American founding. He is perhaps most noted for having helped to compile The Complete Anti-Federalist with his former teacher Herbert Storing. He is currently the Charles A. Dana Professor of Political Science at Middlebury College, having earned his BA, MA, and Ph.D at the University of Chicago, where he studied under Storing and Leo Strauss, among others. For the 2009-2010 academic year, he was a Visiting Professor at Yeshiva University. His current area of research is in the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, and he is working on a book on that subject.Murray Dry has taught many leading scholars of American government, political philosophy, and law, among them Suzanna Sherry (Vanderbilt University Law School), Dan Kahan (Yale Law School), James Stoner (Louisiana State University), Peter Minowitz (Santa Clara University), Paul O. Carrese (United States Air Force Academy), Ayse Zarakol (Washington and Lee University), James Morone (Brown University), Barry Sullivan (Loyola University), Giorgi Areshidze (Claremont McKenna College), Nicholas Sambanis (University of Pennsylvania), Odysseus Makridis (Fairleigh Dickinson University), and Victor Abundis (Academic of Classics) (Park Hill High School)Also among his former students are former Governor of Vermont Jim Douglas, Congressman Frank Pallone, Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, Joeseph Demetrius Mastrangelo, and Thomas Knox.

Politically Incorrect

Politically Incorrect is an American late-night, half-hour political talk show hosted by Bill Maher that aired from 1993 to 2002. It premiered on Comedy Central in 1993, moved to ABC in January 1997, and was canceled in 2002.

The show first originated from New York City, but soon moved to Los Angeles. The New York episodes were shot at the CBS Broadcast Center and the Los Angeles episodes at CBS Television City, where it remained even after its move to ABC.

The first episode featured comedian Jerry Seinfeld, Howard Stern co-host Robin Quivers, Republican Party strategist Ed Rollins, and comedian Larry Miller. Frequent guests included Dave Matthews, Arianna Huffington, Michael McKean, Ann Coulter, Carrot Top, and Christine O'Donnell.

President's Daily Brief

The President's Daily Brief (PDB), sometimes referred to as the President's Daily Briefing or the President's Daily Bulletin, is a top-secret document produced and given each morning to the President of the United States, and is also distributed to a small number of top-level US officials who are approved by the President, and includes highly classified intelligence analysis, information about covert operations of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and reports from the most sensitive US sources or those shared by allied intelligence agencies. The PDB is also provided to the President-elect of the United States, between election day and inauguration.

The PDB is produced by the Director of National Intelligence, and involves fusing intelligence from the CIA, the [[Defense Intelligence Agency] (DIA)], the National Security Agency (NSA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other members of the U.S. Intelligence Community.

Press gaggle

A press gaggle (as distinct from a press conference or press briefing) is an informal briefing by the White House Press Secretary which (as used by press secretaries for the George W. Bush administration) is on the record, but disallows videography. The term can refer to the informal interactions between the press and the press secretary that occur before a videotaped press briefing.A former member of the White House press corps provided the following historical context:

"Gaggles" historically refer to informal briefings the press secretary conducts with the press pool rather than the entire press corps. ...they were more or less off the record, and their purpose was mostly to exchange information - the president's schedule and briefing schedule, from the administration side; heads-up on likely topics or early comment on pressing issues, from the news side. Briefings were what everybody knows them to be.In previous administrations, when the President traveled, sometimes the press secretary would hold a gaggle with the press pool that travels on Air Force One - not every time, but sometimes, and always informally. In this administration, Ari [i.e. Ari Fleischer] does a gaggle on the plane every time the President goes out of town, and a transcript is made available for press corps members who weren't on the plane. These mid-air mini-briefings are the "gaggles" you can find transcripts of on the White House website.The blog maintained by Newsweek magazine's political reporters is called The Gaggle; on their main page, their definition for "gaggle" when used to refer to the Washington, D.C. press, is "a flock of reporters pecking at a politician."

Not commonly used in society.

According to longtime dean of the White House press corps Helen Thomas, the term was coined by Dee Dee Myers, the White House Press Secretary in 1993–94 during the Clinton administration.

About mid-morning, the press corps heads into its first briefing in the press secretary's office. Dee Dee Myers began calling it the morning "gaggle" and the name seems to have stuck.... We gather around the press secretary's desk, ask our questions and then head back to our offices to write our stories."Gaggle" was prominently in the news on February 24, 2017. The Trump White House excluded several major news organizations, including CNN, the New York Times and Politico, from a regular press gaggle. Favorable press outlets were not excluded. Responses from the press included charges of "war on fake news."

Rob Corddry

Robert William Corddry (born February 4, 1971) is an American actor and comedian. He is known for his work as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (2002–2006) and for his starring role in the film Hot Tub Time Machine. He is the creator and star of the Adult Swim series Childrens Hospital and has been awarded four Primetime Emmy Awards. He currently co-stars in the HBO comedy-drama Ballers.

Scott McClellan

Scott McClellan (born February 14, 1968) was the twenty-second White House Press Secretary (2003–06) for President George W. Bush, and author of a controversial No. 1 New York Times bestseller about the Bush Administration titled What Happened. He replaced Ari Fleischer as press secretary in July 2003 and served until May 10, 2006. McClellan was the longest serving press secretary under George W. Bush.

He is now the Vice President for Communications at Seattle University.

The Federalist (website)

The Federalist is an American conservative online magazine and podcast that covers politics, policy, culture, and religion, and publishes a newsletter. The site was co-founded by Ben Domenech and Sean Davis and launched in September 2013.

The Pet Goat

"The Pet Goat" (often erroneously called "My Pet Goat") is a reading exercise from the 1995 children's workbook Reading Mastery II: Storybook 1 by Siegfried Engelmann and Elaine C. Bruner. It is designed to teach kids about words ending in the letter "E", using the Direct Instruction (DI) teaching method. It gained attention on September 11, 2001; U.S. President George W. Bush was reading it at the Emma E. Booker School in Sarasota, Florida, when he was informed of the ongoing terror attacks.

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