Bush Meeting With Hastert

George Bush
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White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said the Hastert meeting was about next year's policy agenda.

But the spokesman wouldn't rule out a discussion of the Senate GOP leader's future.

Officially, the president has no advice for senators who've agreed to meet in January to decide Lott's future. But GOP leaders say lack of White House support could seal his fate.

Lott has been on the defensive since praising Strom Thurmond's 1948 segregationist bid for the White House.

Fleischer said Bush thinks "there's no need for him to resign."

Meantime, the spokesman said Lott was not excluded from Tuesday’s meeting for any political reason. He said it's just that Lott's in his native Mississippi, not Washington.