Bushwhacked! Dubya wades into Chileans

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The Independent US

He may be better known for flexing his proverbial military muscle, but President George Bush used an altogether more hands-on approach yesterday when he stepped into a fracas to free his main bodyguard.

He may be better known for flexing his proverbial military muscle, but President George Bush used an altogether more hands-on approach yesterday when he stepped into a fracas to free his main bodyguard.

Mr Bush, arriving in Chile on his first foreign trip since being re-elected, waded into a scuffle that erupted when Chilean authorities blocked his Secret Service agents from accompanying him to a dinner in Santiago.

The incident, which was shown by television stations worldwide, was an unlikely episode in the otherwise staid Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit.

Mr Bush and his wife Laura had just finished posing with the President of Chile, Ricardo Lagos, who is hosting the summit, and his wife, Luisa Duran, ahead of an official dinner for the 21 heads of state at the Estacion Mapocho cultural centre on Saturday

As Mr Bush stepped inside, Chilean agents closed ranks at the door, blocking his agents. Stopping for more pictures, Mr Bush noticed the fracas and, leaving his wife, turned back. A shoving match ensued and Mr Bush pushed into the commotion and grabbed his lead agent, Nick Trotta. Then, looking irritated, he straightened his cuffs before heading to dinner.

The White House's press secretary, Scott McClellan, said: "The President is someone who tends to delegate but every now and then he's a hands-on kind of guy."

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