Q: Scott, can I ask you this; did Karl Rove commit a crime?
MR. McCLELLAN: Again, David, this is a question relating to an ongoing investigation, and you have my response related to the investigation. And I don't think you should read anything into it other than we're going to continue not to comment on it while it's ongoing.
Q: Do you stand by your statement from the fall of 2003 when you were asked specifically about Karl and Elliott Abrams and Scooter Libby, and you said, "I've gone to each of those gentlemen, and they have told me they are not involved in this" -- do you stand by that statement?
MR. McCLELLAN: And if you will recall, I said that as part of helping the investigators move forward on the investigation we're not going to get into commenting on it. That was something I stated back near that time, as well.
Q: Scott, I mean, just -- I mean, this is ridiculous. The notion that you're going to stand before us after having commented with that level of detail and tell people watching this that somehow you decided not to talk. You've got a public record out there. Do you stand by your remarks from that podium, or not?
MR. McCLELLAN: And again, David, I'm well aware, like you, of what was previously said, and I will be glad to talk about it at the appropriate time. The appropriate time is when the investigation --
Q: Why are you choosing when it's appropriate and when it's inappropriate?
MR. McCLELLAN: If you'll let me finish --
Q: No, you're not finishing -- you're not saying anything. You stood at that podium and said that Karl Rove was not involved. And now we find out that he spoke out about Joseph Wilson's wife. So don't you owe the American public a fuller explanation? Was he involved, or was he not? Because, contrary to what you told the American people, he did, indeed, talk about his wife, didn't he?
MR. McCLELLAN: David, there will be a time to talk about this, but now is not the time to talk about it.
Q: Do you think people will accept that, what you're saying today?
MR. McCLELLAN: Again, I've responded to the question.
I think this is the first time I've ever seen a press secretary badgered with questions like this. And I gotta say, it brought a tear to my eye. This is the type of questioning that should have been happening all along.
And of course - in this administration's most maddening fashion, it's quite obvious McClellan tried very hard to stick to the talking points:
- Nobody wants to get to the bottom of this more than the POTUS
- We've been asked not to comment on an ongoing investigation (even though we did before the Doughboy story broke)
Let me repeat the mantra again:
Karl Rove and others in the White House exposed an undercover CIA agent in order to cover up their lies about Iraq.
I hope journalists from all over rise up and get in touch with their inner Woodward and Bernstein. Let's make this administration crumble, dismantling its corrupt foundation brick by brick. And when it does, I want "The Architect" right there to witness the fruit of his dishonest, unethical, sleazy, and just plain evil labors come crashing down in front of his pasty, no chin-having face.