WASHINGTON -- Robert Novak, the columnist who first published the identity of covert CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson, said he is confident that President Bush knows who leaked her name.
''I'd be amazed" if the president did not know the source's identity, Novak said, adding that the public should ''bug the president as to whether he should reveal who the source is."
Novak's remarks were reported in The News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C. They were made on Tuesday, after a speech sponsored by the John Locke Foundation, a conservative think tank.
Senator Charles E. Schumer, a New York Democrat, urged Bush to identify Novak's source
In 2003, Novak exposed Wilson's identity. The former US ambassador to Niger, Joseph Wilson, accused the Bush administration of having manipulated prewar intelligence to exaggerate the Iraqi threat. In the column reporting Valerie Plame Wilson's CIA status, Novak said the sources were two administration officials.
Novak's sources have been part of the CIA inquiry.
Bush's top political adviser, Karl Rove, is one of Novak's sources, according to people close to the investigation, but his other source is not publicly known.
Novak apparently is cooperating with the criminal investigation by special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald, though Fitzgerald has never said so.
The prosecutor has pursued court orders against reporters who have refused to cooperate.