White House spokesman Tony Snow said rumors Bush's watch was stolen in Albania are false.
(CNN) - The mystery of President Bush's missing watch has been solved.
After days of internet rumors and international reports that the president’s watch was stolen as he was mobbed by a crowd in Albania this weekend, the White House is setting the record straight.
Asked at Tuesday’s briefing if the presidents watched was lifted, spokesman Tony Snow answered, “No, it was not. It was placed in his pocket...the president put it in his pocket and it returned safely home.”
Snow says a careful review of video of the scene confirms no pilfering.
Snow also said there was no concern over the president’s safety as enthusiastic well wishers grabbed his hands and arms.
“What you had was an example of when captive nations come free," he said.
Using the moment to allude to recent White House foreign policy decisions, he added, “They understand the role the United States has played through the decades, taking unpopular moves.”
Snow also said the crowd was “euphoric because we helped make them free....if there was a problem, the Secret Service would have dealt with it. Trust me."
The CNN White House unit reports it is not unusual for the president to take off a watch or his cuff links before greeting a crowd at a rope-line, internationally or inside the U.S.
- CNN Political Desk Managing Editor Steve Brusk