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Monday, July 11, 2005

Stonewall McClellan

Well the press finally broke the dyke on the Karl Rove's involvement in the leaking the the name of a CIA operative. Scottie refused to answer any quesions as he attemped to stick a finger in it. Look at these all these un-answered questions (kind of like hearing a one-sided phone phone conversation) or visit Think Progress for the full text of today's White House Press Briefing
QUESTION: Does the president stand by his pledge to fire anyone involved in a leak of the name of a CIA operative?

QUESTION: I actually wasn’t talking about any investigation.

But in June of 2004, the president said that he would fire anybody who was involved in this leak to the press about information. I just wanted to know: Is that still his position?

QUESTION: Scott, if I could point out: Contradictory to that statement, on September 29th of 2003, while the investigation was ongoing, you clearly commented on it. You were the first one to have said that if anybody from the White House was involved, they would be fired. And then, on June 10th of 2004, at Sea Island Plantation, in the midst of this investigation, when the president made his comments that, yes, he would fire anybody from the White House who was involved, so why have you commented on this during the process of the investigation in the past, but now you’ve suddenly drawn a curtain around it under the statement of, We’re not going to comment on an ongoing investigation?

QUESTION: So could I just ask: When did you change your mind to say that it was OK to comment during the course of an investigation before, but now it’s not?

QUESTION: Scott, can I ask you this: Did Karl Rove commit a crime?

QUESTION: Do you stand by your statement from the fall of 2003, when you were asked specifically about Karl and Elliot Abrams and Scooter Libby, and you said, I’ve gone to each of those gentlemen, and they have told me they are not involved in this ?

QUESTION: Do you stand by that statement?

QUESTION: Scott, this is ridiculous. The notion that you’re going to stand before us, after having commented with that level of detail, and tell people watching this that somehow you’ve decided not to talk.
You’ve got a public record out there. Do you stand by your remarks from that podium or not?

QUESTION: (inaudible) when it’s appropriate and when it’s inappropriate?

QUESTION: No, you’re not finishing. You’re not saying anything.
You stood at that podium and said that Karl Rove was not involved. And now we find out that he spoke about Joseph Wilson’s wife. So don’t you owe the American public a fuller explanation. Was he involved or was he not? Because contrary to what you told the American people, he did indeed talk about his wife, didn’t he?

QUESTION: Do you think people will accept that, what you’re saying today?

QUESTION: You’re in a bad spot here, Scott…
… because after the investigation began — after the criminal investigation was under way — you said, October 10th, 2003, I spoke with those individuals, Rove, Abrams and Libby. As I pointed out, those individuals assured me they were not involved in this, from that podium. That’s after the criminal investigation began.

Now that Rove has essentially been caught red-handed peddling this information, all of a sudden you have respect for the sanctity of the criminal investigation.

QUESTION: So you’re now saying that after you cleared Rove and the others from that podium, then the prosecutors asked you not to speak anymore and since then you haven’t.

QUESTION: When did they ask you to stop commenting on it, Scott? Can you pin down a date?

QUESTION: Well, then the president commented on it nine months later. So was he not following the White House plan?.

QUESTION: Well, we are going to keep asking them.
When did the president learn that Karl Rove had had a conversation with a news reporter about the involvement of Joseph Wilson’s wife in the decision to send him to Africa?

QUESTION: When did the president learn that Karl Rove had been…

QUESTION: After the investigation is completed, will you then be consistent with your word and the president’s word that anybody who was involved will be let go?

QUESTION: Can you walk us through why, given the fact that Rove’s lawyer has spoken publicly about this, it is inconsistent with the investigation, that it compromises the investigation to talk about the involvement of Karl Rove, the deputy chief of staff, here?

QUESTION: Scott, there’s a difference between commenting on an investigation and taking an action…

QUESTION: Can I finish, please?

QUESTION: Does the president continue to have confidence in Mr. Rove?

QUESTION: So you’re not going to respond as to whether or not the president has confidence in his deputy chief of staff?

QUESTION: There’s a difference between commenting publicly on an action and taking action in response to it.

Newsweek put out a story, an e-mail saying that Karl Rove passed national security information on to a reporter that outed a CIA officer. Now, are you saying that the president is not taking any action in response to that? Because I presume that the prosecutor did not ask you not to take action and that if he did you still would not necessarily abide by that; that the president is free to respond to news reports, regardless of whether there’s an investigation or not.

So are you saying that he’s not going to do anything about this until the investigation is fully over and done with?

QUESTION: Scott, what was the president’s interaction today with Karl Rove? Did they discuss this current situation?

And understanding that Karl Rove was the architect of the president’s reelection (OFF-MIKE) how important is Karl Rove to this administration?

QUESTION: Who is Karl Rove as it relates to this administration?

QUESTION: No, no, no, no. Who is Karl Rove as it relates to this current administration?

QUESTION: Scott, I think you’re getting this barrage today in part because it is now clear that 21 months ago you were up at this podium saying something that we now know to be demonstrably false.

Now, are you concerned that in setting the record straight today that this could undermine the credibility of the other things you say from the podium?

QUESTION: Scott, at this point are we to consider what you said previously, when you were talking about this — that you’re still standing by that or are those all inoperative at this point?

QUESTION: Are you standing by what you said previously?

QUESTION: When the leak investigation is completed, does the president believe it might be important for his credibility, the credibility of the White House, to release all the information voluntarily that was submitted as part of the investigation, so the American public could see what transpired inside the White House at the time?

QUESTION: Have you or the White House considered whether that would be optimal to release as much information and make it as open…

QUESTION: I’d like you to talk about the communications strategies just a little bit there.

QUESTION: And he would like to do that when it is concluded, cooperate fully with…

QUESTION: Scott, who in the investigation made this request of the White House not to comment further about the investigation? Was it Mr. Fitzgerald? Did he make a request of you specifically?

QUESTION: Was the request made of you or of whom in the White House?

QUESTION: In your dealings with the special counsel, have you consulted a personal attorney?

Crooks and Liars has some video of the drowning man. He didn't answer any of those questions.

On another topic came this bonus question:
QUESTION: Since President William Howard Taft became chief justice after his presidency, you would not rule out the president’s nominating former law school professor Bill Clinton to the Supreme Court, would you? And if you wouldn’t, we can report that President Clinton is under consideration, can’t we?(my emphasis)

MCCLELLAN: Well, that’s the first time I’ve heard that name suggested. I know there are a lot of names being suggested out there and you know that I’m not going to get into speculating about any particular names.

Man, is he good, or what?