Q Scott, the President earlier this year, in April, called Tom DeLay a very effective leader. In May he called him a fine Majority Leader. Does he still hold those opinions --It's a bitter taste, isn't it?
MR. McCLELLAN: Yes.
Q -- even though he's been indicted?
MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, Congressman DeLay is a good ally, a leader who we have worked closely with to get things done for the American people.
Q Has the President spoken with Speaker Hastert or other Republican leaders on the Hill today to talk about this interim time with DeLay stepping aside?
MR. McCLELLAN: When I left him just a short time ago, he was having lunch with his National Security Advisor and Secretary of State and the Vice President and Chief of Staff Andy Card. I don't believe he's had any conversations with those individuals. I think White House staff certainly has been in contact with members of Congress, as we are on a regular basis.
Q What's the President's reaction? You said you were with him --
MR. McCLELLAN: Let me keep -- I'll come to you, Dana. Go ahead. Jennifer.
Q No, we'll share.
MR. McCLELLAN: Anybody else on the front row? Okay, go ahead.
Q Can you give us -- can you characterize the President's reaction, and especially with -- when you have so many legislative things you want to move forward?
MR. McCLELLAN: Sure. I think that the President's view is that we need to let the legal process work. There is a process in place, and we'll let that work. Go ahead, Helen.
Q The papers have been satiated in the last few days, again with another round of our abuse of prisoners and detainees and torture. Has the President ever issued a directive to all military prisons under our control that they should not torture and they should abide by the Geneva Accord?
MR. McCLELLAN: Yes. Yes. In fact, we did that quite some time ago.
Q There is an actual directive?
MR. McCLELLAN: If people are involved in wrongdoing, they're going to be held to account. And that's exactly what -- that's exactly what this administration has done.
Q I asked you if the President has issued any executive order against torture. MR.
McCLELLAN: The President made it very clear that we do not torture and we do not condone torture. And if people --
Q But we do.
MR. McCLELLAN: -- and if people break the law, they are brought to account. And that's exactly what we've done in the instances that you're referring to.
Here's some more from the same briefing. A good question followed by yet another distrubing answer:
Q Is the President concerned that there's a stench of corruption around the Republican establishment in Washington?No doubt, these folks are hoping some activist judge will rule in favor of DeLay.
MR. McCLELLAN: Terry, I don't think you can make such a broad characterization. There are some instances of individual situations, and we'll let those -- the legal process proceed in those instances.
Q But he's not -- he doesn't take it as seriously as he takes other allegations of wrongdoing?
MR. McCLELLAN: I didn't say that; you said that.
Q He did take it seriously?
MR. McCLELLAN: There's a legal process in place to address these matters.
Q Does he still have confidence in Leader DeLay? And what does he think the impact of this will be on his agenda?
MR. McCLELLAN: I just expressed his views. Again, the President considers him a good ally and a friend who we have worked with very closely to get things done for the American people.