Huffpost Politics

AP Bureau Chief To Rove: "Keep Up The Fight"

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Buried in a 50-page report titled "Misleading Information From The Battlefield" on Pat Tillman and Jessica Lynch is this nugget:

"Karl Rove exchanged e-mails about Pat Tillman with Associated Press reporter Ron Fournier, under the subject line "H-E-R-O." In response to Mr. Fournier's e-mail, Mr. Rove asked, "How does our country continue to produce men and women like this," to which Mr. Fournier replied, "The Lord creates men and women like this all over the world. But only the great and free countries allow them to flourish. Keep up the fight."

Fournier is now the AP's Washington Bureau Chief.

***UPDATE 8:24pm ET, July 14, 2008***

In a story that crossed on the AP wires, Fournier is quoted as saying he was simply interacting with a source in the course of his duties as a political reporter, and regrets the "breezy nature of the correspondence."

From the AP story:

The committee cited one exchange between White House political chief Karl Rove and Ron Fournier, then a political reporter for The Associated Press.

In a chain under the subject line "H-E-R-O," Rove replied to an e-mail from Fournier by saying, "How does our country continue to produce men and women like this?"

Fournier replied, "The Lord creates men and women like this all over the world. But only the great and free countries allow them to flourish. Keep up the fight."

Fournier, now the AP's acting Washington bureau chief, said Monday: "I was an AP political reporter at the time of the 2004 e-mail exchange, and was interacting with a source, a top aide to the president, in the course of following an important and compelling story. I regret the breezy nature of the correspondence."