May 28th, 2008
11:29 AM ET
10 years ago

Fleischer calls for explanation from McClellan

 Ari Fliesher said something doesn't make sense about McClellan's new book.

Ari Fliesher said something doesn't make sense about McClellan's new book.

(CNN) - Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan’s predecessor, Ari Fleischer, said in a Wednesday statement that “There is something about [McClellan’s new] book that just doesn’t make any sense.”

Fleischer said McClellan had been an “always reliable, solid deputy” during his own White House tenure – but “not once did Scott approach me – privately or publicly – to discuss any misgivings he had about the war in Iraq or the manner in which the White House made the case for war.

“Scott himself repeatedly made the case for the war from the podium and even after he left the White House… If Scott had such deep misgivings, he should not have accepted the press secretary position as a matter of principle.”

Fleischer also said the book had changed dramatically from the way it had first been described to him, and that many of the passages did not sound like his former colleague, hinting that perhaps an editor had been responsible for the shift in tone.

“Nevertheless, it is Scott’s book and I want to hear his explanation for why he has had such a dramatic change in his point of view,” said Fleischer, who added that he continued to wish McClellan well on a personal level.

Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (187 Responses)
  1. Pistoff

    Simple ... it's called guilt and McLellan; after years of spewing Bush's lies started to feel guilty for the great wrongs he has committed ... oh, and there's a chance he'll make a mint on his memoir. Politics as usual and anyone surprised by McLellan's revelations just hasn't been paying attention or has been in denial of Bush's deceptive ways.

    May 28, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  2. I have a goldfish

    I believe this will help McCain distance himself from Bush. The Republican Party is not to blame for bad things...only the Bush administration.

    McCain – Schwarzenegger '08, '12

    May 28, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  3. Glenn

    All the denials by the Bush loyalists remind me of all the denials by the Nixon loyalists who remained loyal right up to the day they went to jail for for lying. Sound familiar?

    May 28, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  4. MD

    The explanation is MONEY. If his book supported this administration, no one in the press would have written any review.

    Scott's no dummy. He knows where the media is.

    May 28, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    This is beginning to be "He said, He said" argument. Does either one (or either side) have any proof? Is there any documentation from either a voice recorder or papers or e-mails? Why should we believe that one is the end of the argument? There was always some level of concern over what was coming out of the Bush administration; was crap or was it fact? Most of the time it was unsubstantiated.

    May 28, 2008 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  6. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Didn't Ari get fired for not doing his job?

    May 28, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  7. Timber

    Why is the media ignoring the fact that Clinton is ahead in all polls against McCain, while Obama is tied or trails McCain? I can see why the Obama camp is trying to hush it up and ignore it, but the media is not an extension of them, are they?!? Where can I get independent, unbiased news from anymore? Does anybody else see this?

    May 28, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  8. JC

    John McCain will use the same tactic of propaganda of fear to get elected. Bush use it to go to war. Hitler use it on the Jews. Wake up America and wake up media not to spin this fear!

    May 28, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  9. Rich

    I applaud Scotts candid appraisal of the Bush administration in respect to war in Iraq,although he stops short (like many others) in calling the President a liar. Also , despite the lies and the emasculation of the CIA he doesn't indicate (like many others) the real reason for the Iraq debacle.

    May 28, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  10. David D Kollie

    Why did Ari resigned? let him explain to the public like McClellan did.

    May 28, 2008 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  11. lexel

    This is SAD!!! Sad because if the contents of the book are true, poor America has been deceived and tangled in web of political lies.

    This is ALSO SAD!!! ALSO SAD because McClellan cannot come out way too much earlier to save the lives of our troops and of innocent people in Iraq.

    This is REALLY, REALLY SAD!!! REALLY, REALLY SAD because McClellan has to publish a book about it, earn big bucks from it while the government downplays everything and more lives will be at stake.

    May 28, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    What is there to actually explain?

    Explain what?
    To whom?
    For What?

    Don't you think the mindset that would ask that raises eyebrows?

    May 28, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  13. An American in Canada for David


    John Smith May 28th, 2008 2:02 pm ET

    Hillary is like "Viagra," she is great at "exciting" or "arousing" the Republican base.

    Given that the Republicans are looking quite "impotent" and under-aroused at this time, the Democrats will do wonders by giving them Hillary!! It would really enegergize the Republican base!

    Again, you knows, the Democrats always do a great job of losing to the Republicans, and they are laying the foundations for defeat again!







    May 28, 2008 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  14. AMW

    You have had your 15 min of fame. Goodbye.
    What 's the matter? I know---Scott got his book out first.
    Americans believe Scott. He could not say anything before now–he was still employed-there are rules!!!!!!

    You did the right thing,Scott. And you did it at the right time. Ignore the spin and talking heads--they have not walked a mile in your shoes.
    Those who have been and are still in that position probably just do not have the convictions you have. I'll buy the book and give it as gifts to my Republican friends-–the ones with egg on their face.

    May 28, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  15. Mike

    This is standard bush doctrine: declare anyone who criticizes you as disgruntled. The Bush regeime is now spinning this because one of their own has spoken the truth.

    May 28, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  16. angel

    FINALLY the REPUBLICANS and their dirt is coming to light, hopefully this will help others come forward with more TRUTHS about one of the most crooked inept administrations in the HISTORY of the USA.
    We can only hope and pray that our next president will bring them ALL up on charges for everything they did ......

    May 28, 2008 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  17. TonyNJHC

    What happened to our country and election system? At times, I think I should pinch myself to confirm the fact that I am fully awake and witnessing what is going on, as it seems like a once very good play, which has gone bad. The founders of our Great Democracy would be sad today, or maybe they are looking down from above, some laughing, some crying, still others watching in shear amazement. Some might be saying, for all we did for that generation, they now do this? Are we to wander is some strange wilderness, aimlessly without direction. How happy I was in 1989 when the awful wall finally fell in Berlin and across eastern Europe. Now look at us now, we can't even count our own votes. Don't look to outside powers as destroyers of our Democracy, as we are doing a good enough job of it on our own. To this the sad label will be affixed, Made in America. We destroyed our own Democracy

    May 28, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  18. Chris, Denver CO

    Here's the explanation Ari: He's not as much of a prostitute as you, so he couldn't live with himself.

    May 28, 2008 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  19. Phil Newton

    It "doesn't make sense" because you might not be used to hearing the truth.

    May 28, 2008 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  20. Chamorrita60

    Fleisher just needs to shut the hell up. He KNOWS darn well they ALL lied to the American people.

    Bush and his goonies are just pissed off because this book makes them out to be the crooks that they are. They deserve to be called out on the carpet. What a bunch of "clowns", it's not wonder why this country is in the toilets. AND here you have Sen. McCain playing "buddy" with Bush. What does that say about McCain?

    President Bush and his whole gang of goonies deserved to be called out as the criminals they are.

    I have NO sympathy for the Bush Administration. NOW all these jerks who are in Bush's pockets are coming out like "thugs" bashing McClellan left and right. You have to answer why are they so pissed over a book? Could it be that the book is based on FACTS they did NOT want Americans to KNOW? DAH!!!

    May 28, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. DJ, LA, CA

    ha ha ha...Mr. Fleischler something doesn't make sense huh? Oh would that be the truth? That's the press secretary's job to spin the truth right.

    All I have to say to you Bush apologists or Republicans that are in denial is that McClellan is the REAL American that stands up for the truth.

    Also keep in mind that for him to come out like this and publish such inflamatory remarks...he put a lot on the line. If he IS lying he would subject to civil or possibly even criminal lawsuit for slander among other civill law offenses.

    I highly doubt he would make all this up just to sell books and risk being sued...not to mention getting black-balled by the Republican party for life.

    May 28, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. Montana is Obama Country

    ....................McCain and Bush are the MCSAME...........

    May 28, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  23. What if?

    We do to...we want the REAL TRUTH.

    May 28, 2008 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |

    Let the truth be told. Bush, you and the other Repubs are big liers and you-all need to be stopped with the fastness. but, it will all be over for you-all in January. The Dems will have the Oval Office.

    May 28, 2008 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  25. Oracle99

    The Bush regime is trying to do "damage control" and they realize that they have been caught in a lie. They also want to discredit Scott McClellan before he appears on the MSNBC next week. The Senate should grant him immunity now for his protection.

    May 28, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
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