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. Robert, Chicago, IL

    First of all I am impressed he could read a watch; second, I guess it's time (no pun intended) to attack Albania now; third, who believes anything this administration says?

    June 12, 2007 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  2. Jon, Honeoye Falls NY

    Hey, I don't know if I'd go so far as to say "free" world anymore. We can't even get the entire congress to vote "no confidence" in someone they have no confidence in. The justice department stops people from delegating justice. We're torturing people in secret CIA prisons in other countries 🙁 I think we are going to have a national nervous breakdown someday soon.

    June 12, 2007 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  3. TM Chtown PEI Canada

    Well a little light hearted folly in dark times proves to be as good as medicine!

    However, I think school must be out and CNN might have to require proof of age from posters. Or are those happy faces seniors?

    June 12, 2007 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  4. Ned Braden, Coraopolis, PA

    The reason why this is news? No one believes anything coming from this administration, from its earliest days (remember "he blacked out from choking on a pretzel?") to the present.

    June 12, 2007 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  5. Jody, Bluefield, WV

    You can see in the video that he goes over to the crowd with his watch on... then he moves down and the watch is missing. To all those who say they know the Albanian culture, are you SURE you can speak for every single person in the country. There are people out to make a quick steal and quick buck everywhere. His watch is gone, the White House covered it up. Get over it. As for me, I can't wait for the next President to come along...

    June 12, 2007 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. Alexander, Moscow, Russia

    Of course it was stolen.

    The White House statement is a lie, but for sure not the worst we heard so far.

    Albanian organized crime is well established in the USA and getting stronger by the day in Europe.

    Kosovo, under UN control, developed to be a center of drug, weapon and human trafficking without control!

    But, it's probably all the Serb's fault again?

    June 12, 2007 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  7. George DiYenno, Warminster, PA

    We must have Senate Hearings with sworn testimony from everyone in Albania and the Secret Service personnel and a frame by frame review of the video showing the President putting the watch in his pocket.

    OR we could just check and see if he files a claim for a stolen watch with his home insurance company?

    June 12, 2007 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  8. Billy D, NYC

    Thank God there's nothing more important to cover in the world....wait a minute! How's Paris doing? Where's my update on her???

    June 12, 2007 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  9. MrCris

    I have carefully reviewed the video... and Bush is wearing a Watch with a Leather Strap... He would have to be amazingly skilled AND double jointed in order to get this watch off his left wrist without useing his Right hand... and in the video his to hands don't come into contact between the last frame we see the watch and the one were it is suddenly gone. While there may be somepeople on earth who can manage this trick... Bush isn't one of them.

    Tony Snow will lie about anything.

    June 12, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  10. Janet, Ewing, NJ

    I'm surprised they let the Albanians near him. But, in America, unless you signed a statement of support, you could not get anywhere near this guy! What a joke!

    June 12, 2007 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  11. Brandon, Atlanta GA

    Unless he took it off with one hand, which would be rather difficult it was taken off. Of the numerous talents that he may have, I don't believe that to be one of them. Rewatched the video. Although it does appear that he put his hand back down in his pocket, his other hand never comes near. Indicating that it came loose, it was stolen, or he is just that good.

    June 12, 2007 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  12. Ken, Dallas, TX

    Yes...the ENTIRE country of Albania are lovely, respectful, and friendly. What color is the sky in your world kim,NYC. I visited a jail onetime, and all the inmates were very lovely and friendly to me, I'm positive they are all innocent.

    June 12, 2007 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  13. Samuel Abarte, Chula Vista, California

    Mobbed? CNN never lets me down when it comes to there bias against the President. You should have written "crowd having no respect for President bit him and slapped him and stole his watch!".

    June 12, 2007 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  14. Tireux De Roche, Marlborough, MA

    You call that “solved”? Tony Snow spins it the only way he possibly can, and that’s good enough for CNN! Your work is done, take the rest of the day off.

    Posted By Alvin, Eagleville, PA : June 12, 2007 2:00 pm

    Amen Alvin!

    June 12, 2007 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  15. Kendrick, Phoenix Az

    He did not remove the watch. You can see someones hand lift the watch off and steal it. He continued shaking hands for a couple of more minutes before he ever knew it was missing. In the video he never moves his hands to his pocket or moves like he took it off. So unless a secret service agent took it off while he was shaking hands it was stolen. Why does Bush's cabinet even have to lie about something as stupid as this? Are they incapable of telling the truth about anything?

    June 12, 2007 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  16. Esat

    wow. Guys, just for your information.
    Check one more time the video and look at the security guy with mustaches, while he goes to Mr. president and very chuickly remove his watch from his hand, in order not to hurt anybody from the crowd and himself.
    Guys, i'm not saying that there is no albanian who steal, BUT.... THEY.... REALLY.....LOVE......USA.
    I don't blame if you don't understand it.

    I think that's enough with prejudgements about albanians Mr. you

    June 12, 2007 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  17. Mary, Detroit, MI

    We (Americans) are so Pompous! First of all, it was believed that the watch was "lifted" from him, by a "lowly" Albanian! I wonder if that same assumption would have been made if he was walking through a crowd of elitist Republicans! And then for the Spokesman to say, "What you had was an example of when "captive" nations become free. Are the people in Iraq celebrating freedom? America (U.S) needs to come to the realization that we are not the givers of Freedom! We hold people captive everyday, in one form or another! Whenever we help another nation, you can bet that there is something in it for us! Our (America's) over inflated view of our wonderfulness is sickening!

    June 12, 2007 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  18. Art, MA

    His watch 'dissapears' on the 51st second of the video - that is why Bush stops for one small second and looks down because his watch falls. Somebody from the administration then picks it up and puts in his pocket and take off his ring, too.

    How many times does he put his watch in his pocket? If the circumstances were similar to this (cheering crowd and grabbing his hand to touch him), he would have to do it every time. People were pushing as you could see in the video.

    I dont like Bush a lot, but the Albanians were showing all the respect they have for the US. And when respect someone, they do it for real and with honors. NYT said it good, Bush got the honors for everything the Americans did.

    June 12, 2007 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  19. Mike, Toronto Ontario

    I am actually surprised that comments which tell the truth by saying that Tony is a liar get posted THANK YOU DEMOCRACY

    June 12, 2007 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  20. Armand, New York, NY

    There is a different video taken 30 minutes after the incident which clearly shows President Bush is wearing his watch and his weeding ring while getting on Air force one.
    For all you Americans who dislike president Bush ( Albania would have welcomed the same way any US leader)

    June 12, 2007 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  21. Esat, Prishtina Kosova

    It wasn't stolen. Just look at the security guy with mostaches who gets near to him.
    Here in Kosova and Albania, the tv chanels studied carefuly the scene were the guy put one hand his waist and within secinds takes his watch.
    I think you guys should know that ALBANIANS REALLY LOVE USA.

    And also i thin that you guys just should stop throw up bad things for albanians. It's imoral.
    Best wishes.

    June 12, 2007 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  22. Salem, MA

    To the mindless/racist ignorants that believe the watch was stolen:

    This is nothing but Greek, Italian and Serbian propaganda to throw dirt on Albania and the Albanian people, the only people that still know and understand the meaning of the word "honor". Needless to say that I am Albanian an damn proud of it.

    June 12, 2007 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  23. Dan, Toronto, Ontario

    I think it's telling the White House staff are so afraid of Bush that instead of just asking him "still got your watch, chief" they went and reviewed the tape to find out.

    What kind of imperious, cold and distant figure of fear and intimidation Bush must be to his own people.

    Also the "Other countries are unamerican" line is brilliant in a Stephen Colbert kind of way. Good one.

    June 12, 2007 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  24. Jak, Colorado

    I could really care less the nationality of the person who stole the watch. Fact is, the watch is gone from one second he's shaking hands to the next. This is really quite funny, and the administration denies it so Albania won't look bad. Whatever, doesn't bother me. Bottom line–that watch is on ebay.

    June 12, 2007 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  25. ron, philadelphia pa

    even when there is no reason to lie this administration lies. its a sickness and is pathetic. watching the video it sure looks like it was stolen, unless bush slipped his watch off with the hand below the wrist it was on which i doubt since he can barely ride a bike or form a coherent sentence.

    June 12, 2007 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
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