Q Scott, a couple of years ago, you told us that Scooter Libby and Karl Rove had nothing to do with the CIA leak. It appears that you may have gotten bad information before you made that statement. Now, today, we learn through extrapolation that when the Vice President said in September of 2003 that he didn't know who said Joe Wilson to Niger to investigate the claims that Iraq was trying to buy yellow cake, that he was not speaking the truth. My question is: Can we be confident that when we hear statements from the White House in public that they are truthful?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think you can because you know that our relationship is built on trust, and I have earned that trust with you all. As you pointed out, you pointed back to some past comments that I gave and I've talked to you about the assurances that I received on that.
In terms of the investigation, it is an ongoing investigation. The policy of this White House has been to carry out the direction of the President, which is to cooperate fully with the special prosecutor. That means not commenting on it publicly from here at the White House. There is a lot of speculation that is going on right now. There are many facts that are not known. The work of the special prosecutor continues, and we look forward to him successfully concluding his investigation.
Q But in terms of public trust, if it is true that Scooter Libby learned of Valerie Plame's identity from Vice President Cheney in June of 2003, would that not mean then that the Vice President made a false statement three months later when he said he didn't know who sent Wilson to Niger?
MR. McCLELLAN: I appreciate that. A couple of things. One, the question you bring up is relating to a matter that is under investigation. And secondly, as I pointed out, there is a great deal of speculation that is going on right now, and I would urge you not to engage in that speculation. But certainly, you are pursuing this story as you should. We will wait to see what the special prosecutor does and learn more about the facts at that point.
Q Are you not commenting on whether this report is accurate or not? Will you comment?
MR. McCLELLAN: No, I'm not going to comment because it's relating to an ongoing investigation; the story that you're referencing relates to an ongoing investigation.
Q Given the fact that the Vice President did say publicly in September of 2003 that he never knew about Joe Wilson or who sent him, as John points out, and now there appears to be information to contradict that, how do you explain that contradiction?
MR. McCLELLAN: Again, there's an ongoing investigation. There are many facts that are not known. I would encourage you not to engage in speculation. And on top of that, if there's any additional information that the Vice President's Office wants to provide you, you can direct questions there. But the policy of this White House has been not to comment on this investigation while it's ongoing. And it has been that way for some time.
Q Does that mean that if you had information that could help clear this up and perhaps make it look like something other than what it is, which is a contradiction, would you provide that, or would you hold that just because you don't want to --
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I said -- I mean, if you want to ask any more from the Vice President's Office, you're welcome to do that, but --
Q Have you done that?
MR. McCLELLAN: -- our policy has been that this is an ongoing investigation, we're not going to comment on it. The special prosecutor is the one that has been gathering the facts related to it. But just because I'm not commenting on it doesn't mean you should read anything into that one way or the other.
Q Have you attempted to clarify it with the Vice President's Office?
MR. McCLELLAN: No, this is an ongoing investigation, and what the President directed us to do was to cooperate fully with the special prosecutor. And so, as part of doing that, we've been carrying out the President's direction from the White House. That means -- we're not doing that ourselves, the special prosecutor is doing that.
Q So that's, no, you have not sought clarification?
MR. McCLELLAN: So, no -- no.
Q Does Vice President always tell the truth to the American people?
MR. McCLELLAN: Yes.
Q The President then stands by the Vice President's account in September of --
MR. McCLELLAN: I think it's a -- frankly, I think it's a ridiculous question, Terry, because --
Q Well, no, we now have reports that there are documents that directly contradict the public statement of the Vice President of the United States.
MR. McCLELLAN: Reports. The Vice President, like the President, is a straightforward, plainspoken person.
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Trust and the Rediculous
Can anyone trust this administration? If so, how? Take a gander: