McClellan at War:

At the morning and afternoon press briefings before the President left for Argentina, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan was under fire from reporters who felt he had misled them about the investigation into Karl Rove and Scooter Libby.

“You were wrong then, weren’t you?† NBC’s David Gregory said to McClellan, citing the spokesman’s statement of Oct. 7, 2003, that “[t]hey’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.† Repeatedly throughout the week, McClellan said that he had been “directed by the White House Counsel’s Office not to discuss this matter or respond to questions about it.†

At one of the morning sessions, veteran columnist Helen Thomas took a shot at McClellan, asking the embattled spokesman if he “had any remorse for what you told us† and did he “intend to resign?† McClellan reminded Thomas that he and his fellow staffers all serve at the pleasure of the President, and that “I am an advocate† for Bush policies and appointees. Pressed by Thomas whether “everything you said is accurate,† the press secretary replied: “I stand by what I just said.†


Sign Up