Thursday, October 20, 2005

You had to know this was coming.

Any bets that Li'l Scottie was up late polishing his tap dancing?

Q Scott, did the President talk to Karl Rove two years ago about the leak?

MR. McCLELLAN: Steve, I appreciate the question. That's a question relating to an ongoing investigation, and I'm just not going to have further comment while that investigation is underway.

Q Because The New York Daily News says the President rebuked Rove two years ago.

MR. McCLELLAN: There are a lot of news reports out there and I've seen a lot of conflicting news reports, and we're just not going to comment any further on an ongoing investigation.

Q It behooves you to.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, there's a special prosecutor doing his work, Helen, and we want him to come to a successful conclusion. And that's what we're doing, is cooperating --

Q This is a question that directly affects the President, and --

MR. McCLELLAN: -- cooperating with the ongoing investigation.

Q -- you should say it's true, or not true.

MR. McCLELLAN: As you have known for sometime now, we've been saying that while this is an ongoing investigation what we're going to do from the White House is cooperate fully with that investigation and let the special prosecutor do his work. We're not going to speculate or prejudge the outcome.

Q We're not asking you to speculate. We're asking you, is this report true or not.

MR. McCLELLAN: And I've already answered that.

Go ahead, Kelly.

Q Scott, a couple of things. You indicated that you hope that this investigation would come to a successful conclusion and that the American people would be told about the facts. If the special prosecutor decides not to issue a report, would the White House hope that in some way, shape, or form, the facts would be made public?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, it's up to the special prosecutor to determine how he's going to proceed. What -- again, what we are doing from here is cooperating fully with that investigation at the direction of the President. And in terms of how he is going to proceed, I'm not going to try to speculate about that, or prejudge it. We all would like to know what the facts are. We don't know what all the facts are. And I think all of us would like to know what they are and get to the bottom of this investigation.

Q Can you tell us if any White House staff members, or people who work for the Vice President, or anyone who works for this administration has received a target or a subject letter from the prosecutor?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, a couple of things. That's questions relating to an ongoing investigation. Those are questions you need to direct to the investigator. We're just not going to comment further.

Someone should have pointed out that it was a bit too late for a "No comment" since McClellan had already taken a position on this:

At the time, spokesman McClellan was so adamant in his denials that he told reporters the president himself knew that Rove wasn't involved in the leak.

Your White House Press Corps. Dropping the ball yet again.

AFTERSNARK: I'm a bit surprised that no one jumped all over this statement of Scottie's:

We all would like to know what the facts are. We don't know what all the facts are. And I think all of us would like to know what they are and get to the bottom of this investigation.

I'm sorry -- they don't know what the facts are but would dearly like to know?

First, someone should have pointed out that, once upon a time, Scottie was pretty adamant that he knew the facts related to Karl Rove. Now, investigation or no investigation, is he now claiming that he doesn't know them aymore? Scottie once knew something, but he doesn't know it anymore? Just how does that work?

Even better is the claim that they would like to know the facts. Well, Scott, you could have figured them out in short order if your simian president had just called in all of his senior people a couple of years ago and asked them point blank if any of them were responsible for the leak. That's all it would have taken.

And yet, here we are, two years later, with the administration having backtracked on previously unambiguous claims of innocence and Scottie hiding behind a ridiculously inappropriate "No comment." Surely the above could have inspired a direct question along the lines of, "I'm sorry, Scott ... are you saying the the president doesn't know if Karl Rove was the leaker? Are you actually suggesting he never asked him? Even though, two years ago, you were absolutely adamant that the president knew Karl wasn't involved? How is that possible?"

Or, maybe, even simpler, "Scott, if the president truly wanted to know all the facts, why didn't he just ask the people who worked for him?"

So many land mines, so few journalists with the ability to point them out. Pity.

No comments: