McClellan takes a pounding for a third day
You know, at times I almost feel bad for this guy (then I laugh out loud and snap out of it). McClellan and this administration were lying for the last three years about Karl Rove's role in the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame so Scotty should stand there and take his beating like a man.
From Editor and Publisher:
In a third day of fencing with reporters at the daily briefing, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan continued to stonewall on questions surrounding Karl Rove and the Plame case, but admitted. “It may not look like it, but there's a little flesh that's been taken out of me the past few days.”Like I said, I almost feel bad for the guy (okay, I'm laughing again). I'd only wish they were asking the President or Rove these questions directly.
Asked what he thought of a Washington Times editorial page this morning that compared White House correspondents to sharks, McClellan simply replied: “I have a picture up in my office that everybody can look at.”
Otherwise, he stuck to his guns in defending the right of the White House to remain silent on this “ongoing investigation.”
Here are the relevant parts of the official transcript:
Q Scott, you know what, to make a general observation here, in a previous administration, if a press secretary had given the sort of answers you've just given in referring to the fact that everybody who works here enjoys the confidence of the President, Republicans would have hammered them as having a kind of legalistic and sleazy defense. I mean, the reality is that you're parsing words, and you've been doing it for a few days now. So does the President think Karl Rove did something wrong, or doesn't he?
McCLELLAN: No, David, I'm not at all. I told you and the President told you earlier today that we don't want to prejudge the outcome of an ongoing investigation. And I think we've been round and round on this for two days now.
Q Even if it wasn't a crime? You know, there are those who believe that even if Karl Rove was trying to debunk bogus information, as Ken Mehlman suggested yesterday -- perhaps speaking on behalf of the White House -- that when you're dealing with a covert operative, that a senior official of the government should be darn well sure that that person is not undercover, is not covert, before speaking about them in any way, shape, or form. Does the President agree with that or not?
McCLELLAN: Again, we've been round and round on this for a couple of days now. I don't have anything to add to what I've said the previous two days.
Q That's a different question, and it's not round and round --
McCLELLAN: You heard from the President earlier.
Q It has nothing to do with the investigation, Scott, and you know it.
McCLELLAN: You heard from the President earlier today, and the President said he's not --
Q That's a dodge to my question. It has nothing to do with the investigation. Is it appropriate for a senior official to speak about a covert agent in any way, shape, or form without first finding out whether that person is working as a covert officer.
McCLELLAN: Well, first of all, you're wrong. This is all relating to questions about an ongoing investigation, and I've been through this.
Q If I wanted to ask you about an ongoing investigation, I would ask you about the statute, and I'm not doing that.
McCLELLAN: I think we've exhausted discussion on this the last couple of days.
Q You haven't even scratched the surface.
Q It hasn't started.