From The Associated Press:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan blames President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for efforts to mislead the public about the role of White House aides in leaking the identity of a CIA operative.
Uh-oh! This can mean only one thing. Scotty’s got himself a new nickname!!!
Original DVD cover.
In an excerpt from his forthcoming book, McClellan recounts the 2003 news conference in which he told reporters that aides Karl Rove and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby were “not involved” in the leak involving operative Valerie Plame.
“There was one problem. It was not true,” McClellan writes, according to a brief excerpt released Tuesday. “I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest-ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice president, the president’s chief of staff and the president himself.”
Bush’s chief of staff at the time was Andrew Card.
White House press secretary Dana Perino said it wasn’t clear what McClellan meant in the excerpt. “The president has not and would not ask his spokespeople to pass on false information,” she said.
spokesmodel Perino got confused and fainted faster than Marie Osmond after a frenetic paso doble.
Plame maintains the White House quietly outed her to reporters. Plame and her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, said the leak was retribution for his public criticism of the Iraq war.
In the fall of 2003, after authorities began investigating the leak, McClellan told reporters that he’d personally spoken to Rove, who was Bush’s top political adviser, and Libby, who was Cheney’s chief of staff.
“They’re good individuals, they’re important members of our White House team, and that’s why I spoke with them, so that I could come back to you and say that they were not involved,” McClellan said at the time.
Both men, however, were involved. Rove was one of the original sources for the newspaper column that identified Plame. Libby also spoke to reporters about the CIA officer and was convicted of lying about those discussions. He is the only person to be charged in the case.
In a CNN interview earlier this year, McClellan made no suggestion that Bush knew either Libby or Rove was involved in the leak. McClellan said his statements to reporters were what he and the president “believed to be true at the time based on assurances that we were both given.”
Allow me to translate that last paragraph. Keeping with the sensibilities of the Chimpy administration, the asswipe continued to lie his fat little face off until there was money on the table for a book. Line the little bastard up for a Medal of Freedom!
Bush most recently addressed the issue in July after commuting Libby’s 30-month prison term. He acknowledged that some in the White House were involved in the leak. Then, after repeatedly declining to discuss the ongoing investigation, he said the case was closed and it was time to move on.
No, Chimpy. Even though you are the Deciderer, I don’t think you get to decide this time when the case is closed.
It seems like someone (my money is on Dick Cheney and his henchmen) have gotten to Scotty and threatened to kneecap the little twerp. From MSNBC:
WASHINGTON – Former White House spokesman Scott McClellan does not believe President Bush lied to him about the role of White House aides I. Lewis Scooter Libby or Karl Rove in the leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity, according to McClellan’s publisher.
Peter Osnos, the founder and editor-in-chief of Public Affairs Books, which is publishing McClellan’s book in April, tells NBC from his Connecticut home that McCLellan, “Did not intend to suggest Bush lied to him.”
Osnos says when McClellan went before the White House press corps in 2003 to publicly exonerate Libby and Rove, the problem was that his statement was not true. Osnos said the president told McClellan what “he thought to be the case.” But, he says, McClellan believes, “the president didn’t know it was not true.”
Best quote about the whole situation comes from Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo:
It would seem that, despite leaving the White House, Scott McClellan’s testicles remain in protective custody.
Hey, wait! Scotty has testicles?