June 12th, 2007
02:33 PM ET
11 years ago

Mystery surrounding Bush's watch solved

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

Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. as if

    The nuclear codes (or as Bush says, "nuculer" codes) aren't on his watch. He just uses "1234" for all his important codes! 🙂

    June 12, 2007 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  2. Marcus, Philadelphia PA

    This is a such hoax! You can see it clearly, that at one point he steps back from the crowd, takes the watch and puts is in his right pocket, before going back into the crowd. Two or three frames after that, the Dutch video has a circle around his wrist showing no watch. But, of course! I agree, it makes up for a good joke, but appart from that, there is nothing else to this story.

    June 12, 2007 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  3. Ilir Dardani, Bronx, NY

    The great show of support for President Bush, and the United States in general, by the Albanian people is bothering the hell out of the likes of Serbia, Greece, and Russia.

    Good, this makes me very happy.

    God Bless America and the Albanian people in the Balkans.

    June 12, 2007 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  4. mike_lee

    You wrote this: "This just proves to me that other countries are unamerican."
    Posted By Nedward, Trenton, NJ : June 12, 2007 2:01 pm

    What an un-Canadian thing to say. For a future shortcut any country that doest start with the letters A.M.E.R.I.C.A. is gonna be un american

    June 12, 2007 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  5. Chris, Princeton, NJ

    Obviously, everyone sees what they want to see. If they want to see a sec guard taking his watch, or they want to see an Albanian taking his watch, there are spots where both of them are plausible occurences. I think that the "albanians love us" argument is flawed, but I also think that probably it wasn't stolen because I don't think very many people have the balls to spend 3 seconds stealing a world leaders watch under full view of 8 armed secret service agents. Also, there seems to be proof he was wearing the watch later on.

    June 12, 2007 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  6. Richard, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

    On behalf of all real Americans, I hereby apologize to any Albanians who were offended by the disgusting comments made here by delusional psychotics residing in our country.

    We're sorry about that, but our insane asylums have very loose policies concerning where the keyboard can be shoved up.

    June 12, 2007 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  7. Bill, Dallas TX

    Who the heck is Albania?

    June 13, 2007 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  8. Anonymous

    the issueis not the watch that of course maybe it is not stolen but somehow was cutten from his hand and the spokesman is telling lies one more time, but how this monkey nation can kiss the hand of a man who is ordering the making of warr and killing of humans at the time that all the word is against.maybe because they believe he will construct another state,,the state of kosovo,,as the state of albania was created from the nothing the 1912.but albanians do not know that american political interest in ballkans one day may change and may want to favorite serbs or FYROM.

    June 13, 2007 02:37 am at 2:37 am |
  9. Eri, NYC NY

    Of course they would accuse us first of stealing in Europe. The reception he received, the street in his name, the 3 new post stamps and the 21 gun salute in his honor, he was decorated, honored, hugged, and kissed, but all of it in a well coordinated effort by all Albanians in the world to steal his $50 watch. It could not have fallen off accidentally, as a logical person might assume, in a crowd of thousands admiring, trying to catch glimpse, trying to touch and embrace the leader of the US, a country all people of Albanian descent are forever indebted to. No, no, no, no, no. It must have been stolen, we were planning it for years and everyone fell for it (we couldn’t fool the Italians, Greeks, Swiss, and Russians of course, but we are not perfect). Someone here jokingly said it would be the perfect excuse to invade Albania. Personally, I agree. It is justified. I urge the State and Defense Departments to draw up plans immediately. As an additional measure, I think all Albanians should create a common fund to pay for a new watch for the President. A really expensive watch, especially made in … let’s say … Italy or Switzerland.

    This is pathetic.
    God bless the U.S.!!!

    June 13, 2007 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  10. Besa, Skopje, FYROM

    I couldn't agree more with Chris from Princeton. Who would dare steal a watch in the presence of all those security guys and so many cameras?! The Italians made it up, as thay can't stand to hear in the news worldwide that Albanians were referred to as the best hosting country for the President Bush. I don't favour Bush myself, and am looking forward to the next Presidential Elections in the US. Also many thanks to Richard, Fort Lauderdale, Florida!!! Not everyone should be allowed to post a comment here. They should first pass an "ethics test".

    June 13, 2007 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  11. Paul Panay

    I suspect that the same type of welcome will be given one day to an US President by the people of N. Korea. The common denominator of the Albanian and N. Korean people is that whole generations grew under the most oppressive varieties of totalitarianism with no conception or respect for private property. It is quite possible Bush's watch was stolen, since people who grew under such trying circumstances often have no qualms about "sharing" other people's goods.

    June 13, 2007 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  12. bonehead, Harper Woods, MI.

    lol. some of the comments in here are so stupid it's sad. i'm albanian myself and also a veteran. i agree with some of the people in here that say that this is not news. i'm ready for a new president. i don't hate Mr. Bush but i don't like him either.
    anywho some of the people in here have so much hate in here and they're so stupid i personally think they're a danger to themselves.
    Bush went to Albania for two reasons, 1) to thank the country for the support in the OEF and OIF operations and
    2) to say that he supports Kosovo's independance.
    some of us will hate the this some others don't care.

    June 13, 2007 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  13. magic, sacramento, ca

    I think it was stolen, bush lied because he did not want to make a big deal out of it and make the albanian people look bad since they welcomed him so much

    June 13, 2007 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  14. Tevy

    Maybe he lost it or maybe he didn't. BUT we don't know, do we? The only person who knows exactly is Mr. Bush...maybe Mrs. Bush. Let's talk about something else!

    June 13, 2007 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  15. vip867

    I can clearly see by hitting pause and unpause real fast that you can see for a quick second when he pulls away form the crowd in question for the last time he has his watch on. you can see it in a triangle area between a guys head his arm come back to him with his watch on. Then he fumbles around in his coat and returns his arm back to the crowd with no watch. I believe it is in his coat. 🙂 my .02

    June 13, 2007 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  16. Glen, Albany(a) NY

    One irony here is that Albania loves the US because Bill Clinton saved ethnic Albanians while Yugoslavia was falling apart.

    Also, isn't it possible the watch _fell off_ during the scrum, and was returned by a loving Albanian (who may or may not have looked at the secret codes first 🙂

    June 13, 2007 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |


    June 13, 2007 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  18. Gina Dentata

    Albania loves America...but keep an eye on your valuables, if you know what I mean

    June 14, 2007 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  19. Wayne, Tampa FL

    The watch was not stolen, a NBC camera view shows Bush taking the watch off and putting in his pocket.

    June 14, 2007 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  20. Chad, Ft Stewart GA

    Wow, we don't even know how to lie anymore! If the watch is in your pocket, you don't have to review the video.

    June 14, 2007 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  21. Proffitt, Jacksonville Florida

    I Also Think It Was stolen And They Just Dont Want To Admit It... The Presidental Staff Has Had A steady Amount Of Bad Luck The Last Few Weeks. Hopefully Their Luck Will Change

    June 14, 2007 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  22. lirie, kline ,Kosove

    i Cant belive what anti albanians can do only to express albanians like thieves.it obvious that albanians didnt stole his watch .shame on you .
    we love amerikans not just Pres. Bush but we are thankful for everything that they have done for us .good bless albania and Usa

    June 14, 2007 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
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