The White House says President Bush still has confidence in Karl Rove and considers him a good friend.
Press secretary Scott McClellan made those comments today, after the president told reporters he would not comment on Rove's possible involvement in the leak of a CIA officer's identity until a federal criminal investigation is complete.
Bush's statement surprised some White House advisers, who expected the president to deliver a vote of confidence for his top aide.
Other senior officials said Bush had been prepared to show his confidence in Rove, but that questions from reporters focused only on the investigation.
Bush said last year he would fire anyone found to have leaked the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame (playm).