First, Keith Olberman's MUST SEE
piece on Scott "My Scotty" McClellan.
An oldie but a goodie - a classic monolgue for you actor/comedian types.
Courtesy of the outgoing White House press sec.
The text? ALL
of his answers to the Rove/Plame thing
- from one single press conference last summer (7/12/05) - lumped together - with just three pesky interruptions.
MCCLELLAN: "I think there’s a lot of discussion that’s going on in the context of an ongoing investigation.
This is based on some news reports that came out recently.
I think you heard me talk about the importance of helping this investigation move forward. I don’t think it’s helpful for me from this podium to get into discussing what is an ongoing investigation. I think it’s most helpful for me to not comment while that investigation continues
And these are all issues that some are trying to raise in the context of news reports.
I don’t think we should be prejudging the outcome of any investigation at this point.
First of all, let me back up. Some of you asked a couple of questions about if the president still has confidence in particular individuals, specifically Karl Rove. I don’t want to get into commenting on things in the context of an ongoing investigation.
So let me step back and point out that any individual who works here at the White House has the confidence of the president. THEY WOULDN’T BE WORKING HERE AT THE WHITE HOUSE IF THEY DIDN’T HAVE THE PRESIDENT’S CONFIDENCE.
And in terms of security clearances, there are a number of people at the White House that have various levels of security clearance. And I’m confident that those individuals have the appropriate security clearance. I haven’t gone around looking at what those security clearances are.
Any individual who works here at the White House has the president’s confidence. They wouldn’t be working here if they didn’t have the president’s confidence. That’s why I’ve stepped back from this and talked about it in the broader context. Now, these questions are coming up in the context of an ongoing investigation. And I stated long ago, you all will remember, that the investigation is continuing. I want to be helpful the investigation. I don’t want to jeopardize anything in that investigation. And that’s why I made a decision and the White House made a decision quite some time ago that we weren’t going to get into commenting on questions related to that investigation.
Again, if I were to get into discussing this I would be getting into discussing an investigation that continues and could be prejudging the outcome of the investigation.
I’m not going to do that from this podium. You do point out some statements that were made. I remember well the comments that were made. After that point, I also remember going and testifying in this investigation and I remember well individuals who were involved in overseeing this investigation expressing their preference personally to me that we not get into discussing what is an ongoing investigation. I think that’s the way to be most helpful as they move forward. And that’s why I’m in the position that I’m in.
I’m not going to get into jumping on every news report as the investigation continues and try to comment on them, because I don’t think that’s helpful. So I think you have to step back from any individual news story or individual reports. Let’s let the investigation take place. I look forward to talk about some of these matters once the investigation is complete.I’d welcome the opportunity to talk about some of these questions.
But I don’t think it’s appropriate to do so at this timeI think the American people can understand and appreciate that.
That’s a question related to an ongoing investigation. The investigation continues. I think you know that very well. I’ve responded to that question. And if I were to start commenting on news reports or things related to the investigation, I’m getting into prejudging the outcome of that investigation. I don’t want to do that from this podium. Let’s let the investigation take place, and let’s let the investigators bring all the facts together and draw the conclusions that they draw, and then we will know the facts at that point.
QUESTION: But, Scott, there’s a difference between what’s legal and what’s right. Is what Karl Rove did right?
MCCLELLAN: WELL, I MEAN, YOU CAN STATE THE OBVIOUS.
I understand and appreciate that. And I appreciate you all — I know you all want to get to the bottom of this. I want to get to the bottom of it.The president has said no one wants to get to the bottom of it more than he does.
We want to see it come to a successful conclusion. THE BEST WAY TO HELP THE INVESTIGATION COME TO A SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION IS FOR ME NOT TO GET INTO DISCUSSING IT FROM THIS PODIUM. I don’t think that helps…I don’t think that helps advance the investigation. You can talk to the RNC about what they put out. I’ll let them speak to that.What I know is that the president directed the White House to cooperate fully with the investigation.
And as part of cooperating fully with that investigation, that means supporting the efforts by the investigators to come to a successful conclusion. And that means not commenting on it from this podium
. And, no, I understand your question. And, again, you’re asking questions that are related to news reports about an ongoing, continuing investigation. And you’ve had my response on that…I look forward to talking about this at some point, but it’s not the appropriate time to talk about those questions while the investigation is continuing. You’re asking all these questions in the context of the news reports.
We’re continuing to move forward on our agenda. And we’re on the verge of accomplishing some very big things when it comes to the agenda. Everybody who is working here is helping us to advance the agenda, and that includes Karl in a very big way. I’m not going to get into private discussions. I appreciate you all wanting to move forward and find the facts relating to this investigation. I want to know all the facts relating to the investigation. The president wants to get to the bottom of it. And it’s just not appropriate. If you’ll remember back two years ago or almost two years ago, I did draw a line. And I said we’re just not going to get into commenting on…we’re just not going to get into commenting on an investigation that continues. And I think you’ve heard me explain why I’m not going to do that. I do want to talk about this. And we will talk about it, once the investigation is complete.
I’ll try to come back to you if I can, but I think I’ve responded to…these are all questions that you’re bringing up in the context of an investigation that is...well, it’s clear that this is coming up in the context of news…in the context of news reports.
You can keep jumping in, but I’m going to try to keep going to other people in this room as well. And we can have a constructive dialogue here I think, but that’s not the way to do it.
QUESTION: IT’S NOT MY JOB TO HAVE A CONSTRUCTIVE DIALOGUE, SCOTT. SORRY.
I think you all in this room know me very well. And you know the type of person that I am. You and many others in this room have dealt with me for quite some time. THE PRESIDENT IS A VERY STRAIGHTFORWARD AND PLAIN-SPOKEN PERSON, and I’m someone who believes in dealing in a very straightforward way with you all as well. That’s what I’ve worked to do.
That’s a question relating to the investigation. You’ve had my response on those questions. Again, it’s an ongoing, continuing investigation and I think I’ve addressed why I’m not going to get into discussing it further at this time. I’m not going to get into discussing the investigation at this point.
As I pointed out at the beginning, any individual that is working here at the White House and doing their job has the confidence of the president and the job that they’re doing. They wouldn’t be here if they didn’t have the confidence of the president of the United States. You’re asking about the investigation and…it’s in the context of the investigation and I’m not responding to that. Just not going to go further on.
Everybody’s going about doing their business as they should be. I think that if I started getting into questions relating to this investigation, I might be harming that investigation from moving forward. I don’t want…
QUESTION: I’m asking you about the sense here at the White House.
MCCLELLAN: I know. I heard your question. I appreciate your question, because I know you all have a genuine interest in seeing this investigation come to a conclusion and know what the facts are. And there are news reports that come out all the time in investigations. I’m not going to comment on news reports that come out in the middle of an investigation or during an investigation, because that could just prejudge the outcome of the investigation.WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT THE FACTS ARE
, and the way to do that is to let the investigators complete their work.
As I said, they certainly expressed a preference to me and others that they would prefer that from the White House we not get into commenting about this in a public way. That’s a preference that’s been expressed to me personally as well. And I want to be helpful to this investigation. I also would like to be able to talk more about it, but I don’t think that’s an appropriate thing to do while it is continuing. That’s the reason why I’m not going further than I am. And I think if the American people hear that, they can understand and appreciate that. It has nothing to do with whether or not I want to comment on anything that was previously said.There will be an appropriate time to talk about all this. The time for that, though, is not now.
Thank you. Appreciate it."
*No, thank you, Scott!
"The president has said no one wants to get to the bottom of it more than he does."