September 14, 2001 (F): FBI Director Mueller describes reports that several of the hijackers had received flight training in the US as "news, quite obviously," adding: "If we had understood that to be the case, we would have -- perhaps one could have averted this." It is later discovered that contrary to Mueller's claims, the FBI had interviewed various flight school staffs about Middle Eastern terrorists on numerous occasions, from 1996 until a few weeks before 9/11 (see 1996, May 18, 1998, September 1999 (E), September 2000 (B), July 10, 2001, August 23, 2001). [Washington Post, 9/23/01, Boston Globe, 9/18/01] Three days later he says, "There were no warning signs that I'm aware of that would indicate this type of operation in the country." [Department of Justice transcript, 9/17/01] Slate magazine later contrasts this with numerous other contradictory statements and articles, and awards Mueller the "Whopper of the Week." [Slate, 5/17/02]