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WHITE HOUSE STAFF ASSAILED OVER FIRINGS

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The White House is formally owning up to a series of errors set in motion by the firing of seven travel office employees.

In a harsh report that Chief of Staff Mack McLarty planned to release Friday, the staff is chastised for the firings and for persuading the FBI to investigate the travel office workers, a senior White House official said Thursday night.The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said no White House aides were expected to lose their jobs as a result but that he could not rule out some disciplinary action.

The report, compiled by McLarty and Budget Director Leon Panetta, recommends that five of the seven fired employees be allowed to retain government jobs, although not necessarily in the travel office, which arranges travel for the White House press corps.

The report also:

- Notes by name some White House employees who made errors and writes many of the missteps off to "inexperience and just plain stupidity," said a White House aide, who also spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Washington Post, quoting administration sources it did not name, said in today's editions that among those singled out would be associate counsel William Kennedy and White House administrator David Watkins.

- Forbids almost all contact between White House employees and the FBI regarding criminal cases, requiring White House staff to go through the Justice Department. Such contacts were prohibited previously, but the report apparently establishes stricter rules.