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Developments Saturday in the arrest of former White House adviser Claude Allen:

* President Bush said he was saddened by the charges. He said the information in the charges is different from the account that Allen had given to the White House staff.

"If the allegations are true, Claude Allen did not tell my chief of staff and legal counsel the truth, and that's deeply disappointing," Bush told journalists after a White House briefing on Iraq. "If the allegations are true, something went wrong in Claude Allen's life, and that is really sad. When I heard the story last night, I was shocked. And my first reaction was one of disappointment, deep disappointment that -- if it's true -- that we were not fully informed."

* Neighbors and members of Allen's church expressed confidence that he would be exonerated.

"I simply don't believe it," said the Rev. Joshua Harris, pastor at the Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Md., where Allen and his family are members. "I think if we let the whole situation clear, the truth is going to come out about this."

Harris said that he met with Allen on Friday night to provide counsel and that he asked Allen directly about the charges. "I asked him is there anything you're not telling us that we should know about these claims," Harris said. "Claude said no, and we as a community stand firmly behind him."

Martin Brown, a man who answered the door at the Allen residence and described himself as a longtime friend of Allen, said, "There is no doubt that he will clear his name when the facts come out."

THE NEW YORK TIMES

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