There’s been a firestorm brewing in the news over the past couple of days about a new book due to be released next April, which was written by former Bush Press Secretary, Scott McClellan. Release of an excerpt of McClellan’s book, What Happened, on the publisher’s website, has caused such an uproar that now the publisher is backtracking claiming, “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.” Here’s the damning excerpt:
The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So I stood at the White house briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the senior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby. There was one problem. It was not true.
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.
So really enquiring minds want to know, now that the publishers is swiftly backtracking for McClellan and his book that isn’t even finished yet, will McClellan out Bush, et al or not? It looks doubtful that he will.
Editor & Publisher notes that “AP reported: “White House press secretary Dana Perino said it wasn’t clear what McClellan meant in the excerpt and she had no immediate comment. McClellan turned down interview requests Tuesday,” but Politico.com caught up with two reporters embroiled in the Plame case:
“You’re only as good as your sources,” Judith Miller, formerly with The New York Times, said “with a mischievous laugh,” Politico noted. She added: “Nothing surprises me about Washington during this administration anymore.”
Matt Cooper, formerly with Time magazine, said he “was always frustrated that Rove and Libby misled McClellan….I’m glad McClellan is, too.”
And E&P reports:
Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Ct.), who is also running for president, stated, “Today’s revelations by Mr. McClellan are very disturbing and raise several important questions that need to be answered. If in fact the President of the United of States knowingly instructed his chief spokesman to mislead the American people, there can be no more fundamental betrayal of the public trust.
“During his confirmation process, Attorney General Mukasey said he would act independently. Accordingly, today, I call on the Attorney General to live up to his word and launch an immediate investigation to determine the facts of this case, the extent of any cover up and determine what the President knew and when he knew it.”
Dodd’s not the only presidential candidate disturbed by the revelatio set to appear in McClellan’s book, as Think Progress notes:
In an interview on MSNBC’s Hardball yesterday, former Republican Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee called Scott McClellan’s revelation that “the President himself” was involved in the Valerie Plame scandal “stunning.” “They deserve to be thoroughly examined, investigated, and the truth brought to the American people,” he said, adding that President Bush should personally respond to the charges.
Stay tuned as we wait to see if Bush enabler will turncoat completely or just add more sugarcoating to the lies…
Valerie Plame’s statement on the McClellan book is here.