Wednesday, November 21, 2007

McClellan Tells What Happened

A teasing little tidbit from former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan’s forthcoming book What Happened:

“I stood at the White house briefing room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the better part of two weeks and publicly exonerated two of the seniormost aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby,” McClellan wrote.

“There was one problem. It was not true.”

McClellan then absolves himself and makes an inflammatory — and potentially lucrative for his publisher — charge.

“I had unknowingly passed along false information,” McClellan wrote.

“And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice president, the president’s chief of staff and the president himself.”

McClellan says he was in that position because he trusted the president: “The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.”

Whether or not this leads to anything more than something to argue about with your crazy right-wing uncle over the turkey carcass remains to be seen. For what it’s worth, the right wing is already letting slip loose the dogs of smear against Mr. McClellan:

What Republican remembers him, let alone would want to buy a book he wrote? We were spoiled with Ari, bored to tears by Scott, and then watched with pride as Tony gave as well as he got from the Press Corps.

A few people are asking why Mr. McClellan waited until he was out of the White House and writing a book before he dropped this little bomb. It’s pretty simple: a book deal gets you an advance, but a subpoena can be expensive.