WASHINGTON — Convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff says President Bush knew him well enough to joke with him about weightlifting. "What are you benching, buff guy?" Abramoff said Bush asked him.
The president has said he doesn't know Abramoff.
Abramoff said he found it hard to believe Bush didn't remember the 10 or so photos that he and members of his family had snapped with the president and first lady.
"He [Bush] has one of the best memories of any politician I have ever met," Abramoff wrote in an e-mail, according to Vanity Fair's April issue, to be released this week. "Perhaps he has forgotten everything. Who knows?"
Abramoff pleaded guilty Jan. 4 to charges that he and a former partner, Adam R. Kidan, concocted a fake wire transfer to make it appear they were putting a sizable stake of their own money into a multimillion-dollar purchase of SunCruz Casinos gambling fleet in 2000. Abramoff also pleaded guilty to charges stemming from a probe into his ties with members of Congress and the Bush administration.