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AIG CEO:  Not Stonewalling, Bonuses Are Necessary

American International GroupChief Executive Edward Liddy insists his troubled company is not trying to hide anything from Congress, as Rep. Elijah Cummings has charged.

"We had a meeting set up last Thursday with the Congressman," Liddy told CNBC in an interview. "I got a letter on Tuesday asking for more information. We simply couldn't provide the information in time for a meeting on Thursday."

Congressman Cummings' office disputed Liddy's account of the timing of the request, saying letters were sent to AIG on December 5 and December 9 requesting the information. A letter concerning the matter was sent last week to the chairman of the Oversight Committee, but was not addressed to Liddy or AIG.

When the meeting was postponed, Cummings accused the company of "stonewalling" and denounced AIG and others for "stall tactics."

(Watch the accompanying video for the full interview...)

"We're trying to be just as transparent as we can," Liddy said. "I think we're the only company out there that consistently says we're going to pay back (the money AIG received in a federal bailout in September)."

Cummings, a Democrat from Maryland, and others have been particularly critical of AIG's plans to pay retention bonuses to thousands of employees.

"We've disclosed every bonus we've provided, either in a press release or in a [government filing], and we're doing everything in a very transparent way," Liddy said.

He insisted retaining employees is necessary for AIG to sell assets and survive.

"If we don't do that, we will not be able to pay back the federal government," he said.

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