Skip to comments.(Judas)McClellan: Bush should have fired Rove after leak
Posted on 06/01/2008 11:02:18 AM PDT by Kaslin
WASHINGTON - President Bush broke his promise to the country by refusing to fire aide Karl Rove for leaking a CIA agent's identity, said Scott McClellan, the president's chief spokesman for almost three years.
"I think the president should have stood by his word and that meant Karl should have left," McClellan said Sunday in a broadcast interview about his new tell-all book, a scathing rebuke of the White House under Bush's leadership.
McClellan now acknowledges he felt burned by Rove, Bush's top political adviser, and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff. He said Rove and Libby assured him they were not involved in leaking CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity, and he repeated those assurances to reporters.
In fact, Rove and Libby did help leak Plame's identity, as confirmed in a later criminal investigation. Libby had resigned by then, but Rove remained in office and eventually stepped down on his terms in August 2007.
"I think the president should have stood by the word that we said, which was that if you were involved in this in any way, then you would no longer be in this administration. And Karl was involved in it," McClellan said.
White House press secretary Dana Perino declined comment Sunday.
The White House had said in 2003 that anyone who leaked classified information in the case would be dismissed. Bush reiterated that promise in June 2004.
By July 2005, Bush qualified his position, saying he would fire anyone for leaking classified information if that person had "committed a crime."
Rove was never charged with a crime.
McClellan writes in his book that Bush backpedaled to protect Rove, a point McClellan repeated in the interview.
"We had higher standards at the White House," McClellan said. "The president said he was going to restore honor and integrity. He said we were going to set the highest of standards. We didn't live up to that. When it become known that his top adviser had been involved, then the bar was moved."
Current and former White House aides have disputed McClellan's account of a White House that pushed aside candor and honesty as needed.
McClellan says he shares some blame for getting caught up in the culture of spin and passing on information he later learned to be untrue.
On other topics from his book, McClellan said Sunday:
_He was part of a White House effort to shade the truth about the case for war in Iraq. "I was part of this propaganda campaign, absolutely," he said.
_His tone for the book changed and grew sharper as he wrote it, and he reached different conclusions than he anticipated. "I believe I have gotten to the truth, from my perspective."
_He anticipated the fierce reaction he has received from critics, including former Sen. Bob Dole, who called McClellan a "miserable creature" motivated by greed. "This book takes aim at Washington, and there are many in Washington that were not going to be happy with it. I knew that going in," McClellan said.
_He would donate some profits from the book to families of those killed in the Iraq war.
McClellan was Bush's press secretary from July 2003 to April 2006. The White House says Bush was surprised, saddened and disappointed about the book, which is titled, "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception."
McClellan appeared on "Meet the Press" on NBC.
Except Karl Rove did not leak the identity of Valerie Plame you effing Judas and loser
Right, I believe it was Armatage, the Ass’t Sec State. All he got was a pension.
Pure, unadulterated Bullsh!t
I would think a defamation suit is in order, at this point.
WHAT are they talking about? Isn't this a flat out lie?
I’ve been trying to figure that one out.
Even Novak says it was Armatage.
Why does Rove/Libby keep getting dragged into it?
These people couldn’t tell the truth if their life depended on it.
This shows how mentally DULL McClellan is.
same reason as everyone “knows” Nixon planned the Watergate break-in even though he didn’t, it’s too valuable a lie for the left to stop repeating decade after decade. They’ll still be writing it 40 years from now.
Libby was convicted by a DC (i.e. Democrat dominated) jury that was lead by a rabid Democratic partisan. The case against him seemed to be ambiguous at best, conflicting memories. The jury chose to believe a person whose memory was contradicted up by contemporaneous notes and documents rather than the defendant whose memory was consistent with available documents.
All Scooter's conviction showed me was that it sucks to be a Republican official on trial in DC.
How does one help leak?
Why does Rove/Libby keep getting dragged into it?
Because the truth, the actual historical facts of the affair, have ceased to matter.
And they have ceased to matter because the MSM is fulled invested in a conflicting narrative.
The Plame Affair has become the first practical evidence of an Orwellian 1984 direction among liberals and their media cohorts.
My sis, the social worker, is a liberal...but a good person. She has no absolutely concept of what actually happened with respect to Joe Wilson, Valerie Plame, Richard Armitage (whom she's never heard of), Patrick Fitzgerald, Scooter Libby and Karl Rove.
And she thinks my explanation of the actual facts is...a fiction.
IMO, he should have fired Armitage before the leak. His loyalty was not to the President. As evidenced by the leak. And although from what I know I don't see any illegality, why aren't those who do calling for Armitage's head.
He read that somewhere.
He wrote it down, and then he read it.
You are correct. It was Armatage
There was never a crime, Wilson wrote an oped exposing his wife's employment because he was trying to spread a lie about VP Cheney, saying the VP sent him on a trip then ignored his findings.
Having none of it the VP and his staff set out to find out who this guy was, (because the MSM were asking him if he sent Wilson), and ultimately discovered his wife sent him.
In the process of answering press questions, a State Dept employee, Armitage told a reporter, and the reporter printed it.
Libby, who was charged by the VP to find out who and what this Wilson guy was, answered all press questions, answered all law enforcement questions, went before the grand jury numerous time answering questions, (which he did not have to do) with contemporaneous notes, that differed from the vaunted Tim Russerts memory.
The DC jury believed reporters, and Tim Russert, what a surprise, lol. The DC jury foreman was a WP reporter, fried of Bob Woodward, he later admitted that it was the Iraq war that caused this verdict.
Simple story, of course manufactured into a crime by the leftwing MSM.
"In fact, Rove and Libby did help leak Plame's identity, as confirmed in a later criminal investigation."
WHAT are they talking about? Isn't this a flat out lie? Yes, it is. Armitage "leaked" it to Robert Novak, who then published it and made it part of the public domain.
Rove "leaked" Plame's identity only if you call agreeing with a reporter's statement ("Yeah, that's what I've heard, too.") sometime after the fact.
Libby was convicted for allegedly lying about where he'd heard about Plame's identity -- which is quite a different thing than "leaking".
The reporter, Ben Feller, obviously has no clear idea about the facts of the affair.
Apparently this leaking process is a complicated deal.
When the President wants to “leak” he calls on many, many of his top advisors to each call reporters.
He can’t just have the Vice President do it, because, well he might forget! He has to have a back up. More than one back up. And not just a underling. It has to be several of the top officials in the whole government!
That’s how a leak is done.
Thank you Scott McClellan for explaining the inner workings of government to us.
Just what exactly is the point in ‘leaking’ Plame’s ‘identity’. It’s clear she wasn’t covert or that she was in any danger. Doesn’t she still hold her position? And it is clear that the only reason an incompetent like Joe Wilson got an ‘assignment’ was because she in fact got him it. He was completely unqualified and partisan for that position. There is no there there.
Richard Armitage of the State Dept was the leaker.
Sue Karl sue.
This is not McClellan, it's the author, and the author is stating a falsehood as a fact. The criminal investigation concluded that Libby lied to investigators, NOT the Libby leaked her name. And there was no evidence that Rove leaked the name to anybody.
Armitage leaked it several times before the you-know-what hit the fan. He leaked it to Bob Woodward in 2003 and to Robert Novak a few months later.
This is the essential problem with McClellan. I took one look at him after he became Press Sec'ty and called him a "dolt".
I stand by my initial impression. He's dull, doltish, unenergetic and colorless.
It was put well by another Freeper - "..he was clearly inept, out of his depth, ineffective, unprepared, and incapable of growing in the position.
Scott will soon look back at his life and see his best day was the day before he was named Press Sec'ty by President Bush.
McClellan is a total punk. He might as well do a total “David Brock” and whore for Soros full time. I can’t imagine anyone hiring him.