WASHINGTON (AP) - Rats have been discovered running wild in the White House and within the Administration of President George W. Bush, local and national media have reported.
The shocking report comes soon after an independent TV news cameraman had spotted over 50 rats frolicking inside a KFC-Taco Bell restaurant in New York city in late February. That reporter had caught the rats in action and sold his footage to local network broadcast and cable outlets.
Now reporters from the New York Times and the Washington Post have similarly caught hundreds of rats romping about the White House after visitors and tourists at the esteemed institution complained about seeing rodents scurrying about unhindered in all rooms, including the Oval Office and the press room.
Videographers shot scene of rats brazenly playing in front of their cameras in every corner of the White House.
Health inspectors who had checked out the White House only the day before have shut down the building after footage appeared on morning talk shows.
A spokesman for Yum Brands, the parent company of KFC and Taco Bell, issued a statement saying that conditions in the White House were "completely unacceptable and totally disgusting" and "an absolute violation of our high standards. Why make a fuss over a few dozen rats in KFC/Taco Bell restaurants when there are thousands of neoconservative rats in the White House?" he asked.
Karl Rove promptly blamed a plot by Democrats to plant rats and cheese in the White House, but further video evidence revealed a plague of rats in the offices of Republican quarters in Congress too.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi then asked about what influence these rats may have had on US foreign policy and on the war in Iraq?
The Republican rat scare peaked when US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice opened her purse and out jumped a rat during a recent news conference with the president of Egypt in Cairo. That embarrassing video was carried by international media.
Vice President Dick Cheney has denied that he has a pet rat named Heinrich even though several photos show him playing with the creature.
Close examination of the recent State of the Union message of George Bush has revealed several rats apparently listening to the speech in the background.