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. Franky

    Yeah, if I was President Bush I would "whack" this guy, Bartlett(especially because he's gonna be on T.V), his peeps, know, everyone that's protecting the "Don" instead of himself. it doesn't matter whether is true ot not, who's right or wrong, who's lying, etc, it only matters one thing and one thing only..........The "Don" has to speak for all this National security advisor from Bush(previously), former advisers, Republicans, is ALL B-– talk!!!! Why??? Because like I said, not some, PEOPLE will get whacked no matter what.......

    Good luck......

    May 28, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. windrider

    This is just the latest set of revelations from the belly of the beast. I suspect there will be more once Bush-Cheney are put out to pasture and can't retaliate any further. It will be decades before we learn just how corrupt and illegal this regime was, and of course those responsible will escape all accountability. It's the American Way for the rich and powerful.

    May 28, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. Veteran in Kansas

    Let's see, McClellan served the Bush administration to his best abilities, and says he became disenchanted with it. So rather than continue on in a sea of lies and deciet, he left.

    Remember, WMD, dirty bombs, terrorist under every rock, locking up suspects without charge, denial of representaion, whats there for anyone to become disenchanted. Outing a CIA Officier in retailliation against their husband, all in a days work at the Bush ranch. Recall General Powell, and his departure after the first term in office and how he had been feed propaganda to present to the United Nations as fact, he was not happy about it after he found out that he had been used. But Powell will never say anything bad against Bush, his Commander in Chief, he will simply hang up his hat and go into quit retirement, as he has.

    It has been stated for years that Bush is not someone to give bad news to, or to disagree with or to present anything tto him that he has already made his mind up upon that quesion his decision.

    May 28, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. Amit NYC

    Ari is a Republican tool. He'll be going to jail soon just like the rest of the clowns.

    May 28, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  5. Jim

    Go Hillary….all the way to the Convention!!

    Kenneth M May 28th, 2008 12:17 pm ET

    WHAT IS WITH THIS GUY DNC Kevin Rodriquez (VI)? HE HAS Switched from Obama to Clinton. He switched from Clinton to Obama on 5/10. We got confirmation from the Clinton campaign that he has re-endorsed Clinton.

    He is seeing the writing on the wall….Obama will NEVER win in November!!

    GO Hillary!!

    May 28, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  6. Independent Voter

    Never underestimate personal greed as a motive. And the timing of this publication could not be more provocative. Also, remember that every administration produces one of these people, be it Democrat or Republican.

    May 28, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  7. MBFLA

    Anybody want 4 more years of this nonsense going on? Lies, lies and more lies brought to you by our executive branch and not challenged by Congress.

    May 28, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  8. Michelle

    LMAO at these clowns coming out today one by one !!
    All they need is a *drum roll*

    *The march of the Bush robots* lol
    They wouldnt know what the truth was if it stood up and knocked them all down like dominoes

    Down With the war mongers Bush and Cheney and MCBush!!!!

    May 28, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  9. MannyG

    Ari, the only thing that doesn't make sense is why are you still protecting this totally corrupt administration. Oh that right you were one of them. You should all go jail for your crimes.

    May 28, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  10. Ralph

    Read his book. I understand it explains all we need to know.

    May 28, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  11. amtFresno,CA

    McCain uses the same tactics of fear, & propaganda. I believe McCellan's book. He could not come out with it before, lose his job, & allot of heat from the Reps. Now he must feel that it will not hurt him that much & I am glad he did it. If McSame gets in the WH we will have more of the same. Obama for Pres. 08. Yes We Can.

    May 28, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  12. Mike in PA

    These Bush/Cheney robots just can't compute the fact that someone went out and broke the mold. They're so trained on talking points and having their words and thoughts written out for them that they can't believe someone would think for themself ... even if it's 8 years too late.

    I do find it funny that Rove and other suggest that Scott should have spoken up on policy. I didn't realize the President's mouthpiece made policy ... I thought they just went out and lied about it.

    Typical of Bush/Cheney ... lie, deny, slander. I hope they all end up in jail.

    May 28, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  13. liz from Seattle

    Well, it sounds like most of us are in agreement here that this administration is a lying cheating pack of self-absorbed egotists who think that the American people can be lead around like a herd of goats, no matter what kind of crap they try to pull on us. Kudos to Scott McClellan for speaking out.

    The person I really want to hear from now is Colin Powell. You owe them nothing, General Powell. The American people, unlike the Bush administration, respect you enormously and want to hear your perspective.

    May 28, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  14. Peggy - Texas

    I believe Scott McClellan. His words resonate with reality. Every time I hear a story about a dead or severely wounded vet I feel sick with guilt (for being a part of a country that elected a moron for our President) and hatred (at an intensity that I have never felt before) of an administration that when to war in Iraq unnecessarily, clearly lied in the days preceding the war, and continues to stubbornly stick to a failed course of action with no clear plan for winning the war. This is why I can not tolerate Hill’s lies and why I support Obama. Of the three presidential contenders, only Obama has the integrity to go before the American people and get our support if, at some point in the future, we need to go to war or sustain this war.

    May 28, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  15. Travis

    We all know there is truth to McElwan's book - everybody has been saying the same thing for 8 years.

    The fact that White House is panicing so much over it and releasing so many statements against it is proof enough that they know it's true too. If it was lies they'd just ignore it.

    May 28, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  16. KMAN

    How silly for all these White House stooges to act shocked that one of them is now telling the truth! When you are a bunch of no good self-serving @holes ... don't be surprised when you are outed and shown to be just what you are! If there was any justice in this country ... the whole Bush cult would be prosecuted for treason! Shame on all of you fools who voted for this soulless administration!

    May 28, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  17. Anne E.

    I regret failing to add a final thought on another post:
    McClellan took that job willingly, took the money and did what the administration told him to do. He doesn't get to complain now.

    May 28, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  18. paul

    the truth will come out that Bush, and his minions lied to the american public when it comes to the war, and other important issues Bush Admin messed up. The problem is they lived the lie so long they believe their own BS.

    May 28, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  19. Robin, Florida

    Scott is telling the truth because Scott wants to salvage himself from the moral rubble of the Bush Administration. Did Ari really expect him to turn down the position of White House Press Secretary on the basis of conscience? It didn't stop Ari from taking it, and I wonder why Ari mysteriously decided to leave two months after the Iraq war launched? Sounds like somebody had their own misgivings.

    The only difference between Ari and Scott is that Scott couldn't live with the lies and had to come clean so he could sleep at night. It was a brave thing he did, and it was the right thing.

    May 28, 2008 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  20. Jessica in IL

    It's great watching all these republicans flounder! One of the "insiders" confirmed what most Americans already know to be facts... and they can't understand why he turned? Concience?? Good Lord... please tell me I'm not in for 4 more years of this same crap? and a war I don't support and don't want us to waste our money on anymore!

    May 28, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  21. Billy J Austin, TX

    Ari.... now there is a guy who hasn't been honest with himself or anyone else in a loooong loooong time. It's too bad he doesn't have to pay for his criminal negligence, we do.

    May 28, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  22. Louis

    It is not the book that doesn't make sense–it was the trumped up intelligence that led us to an unnecessary war with 4,000 soldiers dead, 100,000 civilians dead, 2 million refugees, and 600 billion taxpayer dollars wasted.

    May 28, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  23. David Newport, OR

    I wonder why instead of "questioning" his "motives"...they are not denying what he said...maybe because it is true?

    May 28, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  24. Allen

    "If Scott had such deep misgivings, he should not have accepted the press secretary position as a matter of principle"

    -read: A republican principle is lying. Therefore if you can't lie you shouldn't be Press Secretary.

    May 28, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  25. MD in GA

    Why does he own anyone an explanation? Last I check we still had free speech in the United States. I understand that the current President and his men don't think so, BUT WE DO...

    May 28, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
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