BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Pure comedy

People -

There's no way - on God's green Earth - that I could write anything better than yesterday's White House press conference, so I'm just gonna post some key excerpts.

Pure comedy.

As you might know, Scott McClellan told the lap-dogs - eons ago - that Libby and Rove had NOTHING to do with the leaking of Valerie Plame's ID to Novak, Miller, et al.

And now that we know they did - the lap-dogs want the truth - and Scott's head on a platter.

"They ain't gonna get it."

Which is why they've turned on Scott.

PLEASE READ THE WHOLE THING

First off, NBC WH Correspondent David Gregory:
Q: Thank you. Scott, congratulations on your very calm and unflappable demeanor.
Ouch.
Q: I'm just wondering, are you happy in what you do -- you look happy -- do you feel pressured?

MR. McCLELLAN: Most days. No, I'm just --

Q: Have you ever considered resigning, stepping back from the hot --

MR. McCLELLAN: Look, I serve at the pleasure of the President, just like everybody else in this White House, and I'm just doing my part as one member of this team to help him advance an agenda that is optimistic and hopeful.

Q: How are you feeling, for example, today?

MR. McCLELLAN: I feel pretty good.

Q: Then we aren't doing our job. (Laughter.)

Q: Yes, what's harder, serving at the pleasure of the President, or YOUR MOTHER? Which is it? (Laughter.) Seriously, on the judicial ticket --

MR. McCLELLAN: That's an easy answer.
In typical Scott McClellan fashion - he did not answer that question.

Back to the show:
Q: Some Democrats say that the President should apologize for the role of some administration officials in the unmasking of the name of a CIA undercover operative. What's the White House reaction to that?

MR. McCLELLAN: First of all, there is a legal proceeding that continues right now, and under our legal system, there is a presumption of innocence. We need to let that legal process continue. If people want to try and politicize this process, that's their business.

Q: Well, I think that the role of some administration officials in this, in the leaking of the person's name has been established.

MR. McCLELLAN: I think you're presuming things in that question, and I don't think while this investigation and this legal proceeding is ongoing, that we should make such presumptions. We should let that process continue.

Q: Another part of that is, some of the same Democrats are saying that the President should fire Karl Rove. What's your reaction to that?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, there is an ongoing investigation; we need to let that investigation continue. We need to let the legal process work. As I indicated to you all on Friday, our Counsel's Office has directed us not to discuss this matter while it continues, and that means me not responding to questions about it from this podium. This is a process that we need to let continue. There is, as I said, a presumption of innocence in our legal system, and we don't want to do anything from here that could prejudice the opportunity for there to be a fair and impartial trial. I think that's the basis of our legal system.

And in terms of comments that people are making, again, I think they're presuming things and trying to politicize the process. But that's their business. We're going to let the legal process work.

Q: Let me just follow up on an aspect of this and try it again here. On October 7, 2003, you were asked about a couple of the key players here, Karl Rove and Scooter Libby, as well as another administration official who has not figured in the investigation, so far as we know. And you said the following, "There are unsubstantiated accusations that are made, and that's exactly what happened in the case of these three individuals," including Rove and Libby.

"They'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."

YOU WERE WRONG THEN, weren't you?

MR. McCLELLAN: David, it's not a question of whether or not I'd like to talk more about this. I think I've indicated to you all that I'd be glad to talk about this once this process is complete, and I look forward to that opportunity. But, again, we have been directed by the White House Counsel's Office not to discuss this matter or respond to questions about it.

Q: That was a public representation that was made to the American people.

MR. McCLELLAN: Hang on. We can have this conversation, but let me respond.

Q; No, no, no, because it's such an ARTFUL DODGE. Whether there's a question of legality --

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I disagree with you.

Q: Whether there's a question of legality, we know for a fact that there was involvement. We know that Karl Rove, based on what he and his lawyer have said, did have a conversation about somebody who Patrick Fitzgerald said was a covert officer of the Central Intelligence Agency. We know that Scooter Libby also had conversations.

MR. McCLELLAN: I don't think that's accurate.

Q: So aside from the question of legality here, YOU WERE WRONG, weren't you?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, David, if I were to get into commenting from this podium while this legal proceeding continues, I might be prejudicing the opportunity for there to be a fair and impartial trial. And I'm just not going to do that. I know very --

Q: You speak for the President. Your credibility and his credibility is not on criminal trial. But it may very well be on trial with the American public, don't you agree?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I'm very confident in the relationship that we have in this room, and the trust that has been established between us. This relationship --

Q: SEE THOSE CAMERAS? It's not about us. It's about what the American people --

MR. McCLELLAN: This relationship is built on trust, and you know very well that I have worked hard to earn the trust of the people in this room, and I think I've earned it --

Q: Is the President -- let me just follow up on one more thing.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- and I think I've earned it with the American people.

Q: Does the President think that Karl Rove did anything wrong?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think it would be good for you to allow me the opportunity to respond to your questions without jumping in. I'm glad to do that. I look forward to the opportunity --

Q: I haven't heard a response.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, no, I have been responding to you, David, and there's no need -- you're a good reporter, THERE'S NO NEED TO BE RUDE or disrespectful. We can have a conversation and respond to these questions, if you'll just give me the opportunity to respond. I'm glad to do that.
"Ha" and "wow."

It's officially ugly.
Q: Scott, let me follow up on what David (Gregory) was asking. You say we know you -- and we do -- but we can't vouch for you; that's not our job. And I wonder, do you really think after --

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, wait a second. Let me just interject there. I think there are many people in this room I see expressing their own commentary on TV all the time -- not just reporting. You do a job to report the news, as well, but many people in this room also go on the air and express their views and their commentary. And I've worked with many of you for quite some time now.

Q: I didn't follow that. I can't go on TV and say, "America believes Scott McClellan." That's not my role.

MR. McCLELLAN: No, you go on TV, though, and engage in commentary about views and things that are expressed here at the White House.

Q: Right. But what I can't do is carry your water for you. And I wonder --

MR. McCLELLAN: I'm not asking you to.

Q: Well, there -- yes you are.

MR. McCLELLAN: I'm just asking you to speak to who I am. And you know who I am.

Q: There's been a wound to your credibility here. A FALSEHOOD, wittingly or unwittingly, WAS TOLD FROM THIS PODIUM.
A very nice way of saying, "Scott, you lied to us. WTF?!"
Q: And do you really believe that the American people should wait until the conclusion of all of this process and just take on trust everything that comes from that podium now, without the explanation and the answer that you say you want to get --

MR. McCLELLAN: There are a lot of facts that still are not known in this investigation and in this legal proceeding that is ongoing. We also have to work under the presumption of innocence in our legal system. And, again, the reason I can't comment further is because if we were to get into that, we could be prejudicing the opportunity for there to be a fair and impartial hearing.

Q: I understand that.

MR. McCLELLAN: And we don't want to do that from this podium. No matter how much I may want to talk about this issue -- and I think you know that I would like to talk further about it -- but I have enough confidence in my relationship with you all, and you all report the news to the American people, to know that we have a good relationship that is built on a foundation of trust.

And I have worked hard to earn that trust and I think I've earned that trust with you all.

And it's your job to DULY REPORT to the American people, and I'm confident that you all will when you look at the facts and look at everything that's been said and where we are today. And at some point, I look forward to talking more about it.

But let me step back for a second, too, because part of my job is to be an advocate for the President, and I'm going to vigorously defend his decisions and his policies, and help him to advance his agenda.

But I've another important responsibility, as well -- it's something that we all, I think and hope, share in this room -- that is to make sure that the American people get an accurate account of what's going on here in Washington, D.C.

And I work hard to meet both those responsibilities.

Q: But don't you think, Scott, that that second part of your job has been damaged, your credibility has been damaged by this?

MR. McCLELLAN: For me to even respond to that question would force me to talk about an ongoing investigation and legal proceeding, and we've been directed not to do that. Whether or not that puts me in a difficult position is another matter. But I have enough confidence in the relationship that we've built over the last few years to be able to move forward, and for you all to know that what I'm saying from this podium is based on the facts and based on me working to provide an accurate account of what's going on here in Washington, D.C.

Q: Is Karl Rove back at work --

MR. McCLELLAN: And -- let me finish -- in other words, Terry, you can't answer that question without it being viewed in the context of an ongoing investigation, an ongoing legal proceeding, and that's why I can't go further than that at this point.

Q: But doesn't, then, that make it impossible for you to do your job with as much credibility as that podium demands?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, not at all, because of the relationship that we've built between me and the press corps, and I think I've earned with the American people, too. I've tried hard to earn that trust and I think I've done my part to maintain that trust.
Actually, he hasn't.

This is fantastic.

More later today.

The latest transcript should be up by 3 or 4 PST.

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