US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales defended his role in the firings of federal prosecutors Friday, admitting that there has been some confusion but that his involvement in the matter was limited to signing off on recommendations made by his former chief of staff Kyle Sampson. Gonzales told reporters that his motivations for the decisions "were not based on improper reasons." Sampson, who resigned earlier this month, told the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday that the prosecutors were fired for political reasons rather than for poor performance as the Justice Department has claimed. Sampson also said Gonzales did more than merely follow his recommendations, that Gonzales and former White House counsel Harriet Miers were deeply involved in the firings.
In Friday's White House press briefing White House spokesperson Dana Perino contradicted told reporters that despite any reports to the contrary, the President has "100 percent confidence" in Gonzales.