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. Ronnie

    Obama the "Tourist!
    "Touring" is ALL Obama has done during these primaries. Touring all 57 states, and one to go AK,and HI with the money of the blind sheep he's leading to slaughter, touring on the tail of the liberal media, touring on a couple of books he wrote (and even there he stole the title "Audacity of Hope" from that pastor whom he now "disowns. "Touring" on the coattails of Hillary Clinton, whose EVERY PROGRM he now mimicks as "his own," touring on his 120 "present" votes in the Illinois Senate, and now "touring" in Florida, now trying to convince the voters there to go for him. By the way, folks, Obama kept himself on the ballot in Florida, and if he had won — which he did NOT — he'd be "touring" to the convention in a much better position. I'm not interested in a "tourist" as president. I'm intersted in a proven native. I WILL WRITE IN HILLARY'S NAME ON THE NOVEMBER BALLOT if the DNC and back-stabbing superdelgates try to shove Obama down our throats

    May 28, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  2. Joe G

    I suspect that that Fliesher was raised in an environment where it is considered prestigious to be the White house press secretary. It would seem much more impressive to me if he did telemarketing for NAMBLA at this point.

    May 28, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  3. charles

    Ari, getting information for his own tell all book when the liar in chief is out of office

    May 28, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. Ari is in denial!

    Hello Man, stop kidding yourself, the entire universe knew what took place and culprits will be punished accordingly! Your colleague has stolen your chances for a book deal from you former aides and revealed the truth!

    Good Night!

    May 28, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  5. Bob

    Defeat Osama, Obama, and Chelsea's Momma!!

    May 28, 2008 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  6. Jim

    Ari, what don't you get. You work for the worst President in United States history. Of course these books are going to start coming out. It's the like shock that followed Mark McGuire's steroids abuse. DUH! I forsee many more books in your future. Not that Bush could read any of them...

    May 28, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. Weepy

    What McClellan is now saying is NOT truth–its a work of FICTION!! But the Democrats are such a disreputable lot that they will go for anything-particularly the cheap and free. What a bunch of MUTTONS! George Bush is probably one of the most honest and moral presidents, other than his father and Reagan, that this country has been so fortunate to have. But CNN and NBC and their talking heads were so disappointed that the jerk (read GORE) did NOT win in 2000 (thank God)-Oh, and add KERRY to that too (of course it was his wife who really lost him that election). For the "first time in my adult life" I am losing faith in this government. The screwballs in Congress. . . Where are their minds? That is except for being on their next election. What we need to do now is to vote the bums OUT!

    May 28, 2008 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  8. judy


    May 28, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. Anonymous


    All of them are lining up to discredit McClelland. Did any of us expect any different?

    They are going to say he was "disgruntled" and all the rest. NOTICE HOW THEY DON'T ANSWER ANY OF THE CHARGES DIRECTLY?

    At least 75% of Americans know they were lied to. ARI IS AS GUILTY AS THE REST OF THEM. I can't believe CNN asks him to be a pundit – like we're going to get any truth from him!!! Ha! Ha!

    May 28, 2008 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. American Patriot

    Set up an independent counsel, start the investigation, and lets get on with the trial for this administration for its treasonist policies that have lead to thousands of deaths. They lied, period. They should held accountable just like anyone else is this world who have committed crimes against humanity.

    May 28, 2008 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  11. linda from South Dakota

    well,, it looks like our pres bush,, doesnt like the truth comin out here,, and his few faithful followers are stickin up for hi( i dont know why a payoff maybe?) but then most americans already know that bush has ruined this country and will keep tryin to do more damage through mccain,, like that secret meeting the two of them had without the press bein there, whats so secret??? makes one wonder.. but then like i said most mareicans know,, the few that support mccain dont realize that bush Is ADVISING mccain,, what a sad deal like when MCCAIN SAID<< I WILL NEVA LEAVE IRAN/IRAQ,, well then my friend , go there and stay ther and see what happens,, GO OBAMA YES WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERNENCE!!!!!08

    May 28, 2008 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  12. Ben

    Sue him if its not true!! Otherwise its facts written!

    May 28, 2008 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  13. Barbara - 65 yr old white female in NC

    I think Ari should tell us why HE repeats the president's lies as the truth – and that silly little blond girl now ? YUKKKKKK

    May 28, 2008 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  14. Ted

    Hey, Bartlett, Fleischer, and Rove, you spin using phrases like "total crap," "not the guy we knew," and "....from a liberal blog." Your spin rings hollow. If the book actually contained lies, then you would be using terms like "libel." "slander," and "lawsuit."

    May 28, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  15. mel

    This why a lot of his peoples left his Administration because
    they want to be tied to this mess that this administration causes.
    I believe firing of the justices was cover-up.

    May 28, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  16. Amy Jacobson

    Making money, selling books... If all he wanted is to tell the "truth" the whole book could have been summed up in an op-ed.

    $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ McClellan $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    May 28, 2008 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  17. Mark

    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.”.....

    Yeah what the TRUTH???

    May 28, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  18. David, Santa Rosa, CA

    Oh.. get over your riteous indignation you pomous, arrogant, stupid, liars! You should be glad your not on trial for war crimes or crimes against humanity. Jail is too good for ya'll.

    What an embaressment and mess you neocons have created. You have shamed the USA, you have abused your power, you have played the worst kind of dirty politics (Valerie Plambe,Alberto Gonzolez), you have spent trillions everywhere around the globe and nothing here in the US, you ruined the dollar, created a housing crisis, created a jobless market, instigated torture, continually lied about Iraq (and still do!), did NOT make us safer here in the USA, did NOT get Osama Bin Laden, and you have NOT nuetralized Al Quida. You have squandered 4,000 American lives (more than the 911 attack!) for no purpose other than to make the defense industry rich and resolve some "little man syndrome." You've abused the courts, you've abused the constitution, you've abused the trust of the people, and you folks are absolutely disgraceful and... Un-american.

    Once we throw you decitful pieces of garbage out I pray that one agenda of the Dems is to see you all pay for your complete and often criminal, ineptitude.

    May 28, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  19. KJ

    Folks – wake up – this is a simple matter of McClellan securing a fat advance to write a provocative book. The truth doesn't matter – it's all about selling books and getting a fat advance.

    May 28, 2008 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  20. Ben - Portland

    "If McClellan can stoop this low with untruths..."

    Was he the one running around the capital with the vial of "antrax", or the one saying he knew that Sadam's cache of WMDs were pointing at my head and that he didn't know about Aub Grabe until he saw the pictures on the news?!

    The entire past 8 years have been "untrue" from election night 2000 until January 2009, it will be untrue.

    May 28, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  21. Will-South Dakota

    Revealing about how the American People were hood winked from day 1 under Bush/Cheney. Now McSame is going to use the Bait & Fear tactic as Bush/Cheney have always done. Interesting how CNN doesn't display on the ticker line the Terror Warning alerts anymore.

    May 28, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  22. Reggie

    My guess is that the ghost writer is a liberal.

    May 28, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  23. DaveB

    So if lies are involved, charge him with slander or treason, otherwise knock off the unproductive person attack damage control, admit the war planning and justification process was completely mismanaged and appologize to all those who died or otherwise have suffered because of the incompetence.

    May 28, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  24. Felly

    Ari needs to come clean with his own book instead of blaming Scott for telling the truth. Now we need to hear from others like Colin Powell, etc, etc. Bush should be impeached or tried for war crimes!

    May 28, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  25. ruth

    I think its time that we all deal with the pink elephant in the room. The world has known for sometime now that the war in Iraq was all propaganda. So in this administration s usual fashion, let's attack the integrity of the person who is willing to step up and make the statement, instead of attacking the person who signed the war bill.

    May 28, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
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