May 30th, 2008
04:18 PM ET
4 years ago

McClellan: 'I'd be glad' to testify about Bush White House

CNN's Wolf Blitzer interviewed McClellan Friday.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer interviewed McClellan Friday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said Friday he would be willing to comply with a rumored congressional subpoena to discuss the administration’s handling of pre-war intelligence, telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer he’d be “glad to share my views” if asked to testify.

Facing a firestorm over his book, McClellan also confirmed reports that he had apologized to Richard Clarke for questioning his honesty after the former counterterrorism official published his own book critical of the White House.

“That was part of our talking points at the time. I didn’t even read the book,” McClellan admitted Friday. “…And I think you’re seeing the same thing happening now at this White House, that information – or rather, that people are saying things about my motivations and about me in terms of this book, and they haven’t even had a chance to read the book, or haven’t taken the opportunity to read the book.

“I think that anyone who is objective who reads the book will see that it was a very tough process to come to these conclusions. It wasn’t easy to write these things.”

Former colleagues and top Republicans have been blasting McClellan since his book was released earlier this week. On Friday, Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole – who said he had not read the new book – called McClellan a “miserable creature” in a scathing e-mail that quickly became public.

McClellan told CNN he did not believe he needed to apologize for misleading the public as he now concedes he did. “I have come to terms with it, and realized that some of what I said was badly misguided,” he said Friday. “There's things we did right, and there's things we did wrong. The things that we did wrong overshadowed so much of what we did right. … and I think the American people see through what I have been saying the last few days, that I do regret that I didn't realize some of the things then that I do now.”

(UPDATED 5:50 p.m.)
Watch McClellan defend his tell-all book.


He also said he did not believe he needed to apologize to President Bush, and did not think the president would be reading his book, or talking with him about what he had written. “I don't expect that, at least not any time soon,” he said.

“I don't need to ask for any forgiveness from him because my comments are sincere and honest … it was tough getting to the conclusions I drew, but they were absolutely the truth from my perspective.”


Filed under: President Bush
soundoff (395 Responses)
  1. Terry

    The verdict is out for me until I see if congress has the you know what to take this administration down.

    May 30, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  2. Matt, Manchester, CT

    I'm sure the same idiots who treat this ex-press secretary as the new source of truth don't remember when they called him a puppet back during his time behind the microphone. OH and I loved the numbskull who posted here about this leading to President Bush's impeachment. The sooner people like you get off that tack and realize that's never going to happen, the happier you'll be. Go back to sucking the helium out of balloons and laughing at yourselves as you're all so apt to do.

    May 30, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  3. Tony

    It amazes me their is so much bitterness towards the stool pigeon as a Judas but none for Bush and company for betraying their oaths and commitments to the nation.

    Hey folks Bush and the whole neocon(artist) gang have played to role of Judas to our entire country.

    May 30, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  4. 5

    you suck

    May 30, 2008 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  5. Pistoff

    What a loser. He was the frontman for Bush's lies and now that he can't wash the blood out from underneath his fingernails he claims to be Mr. Clean ... puke.

    May 30, 2008 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  6. Stephen

    Just one question: How much money does McClellan stand to earn from his book?–maybe, just maybe someone should look into his claims and not just take them for face value. He clearly betrayed the trust of Pres. Bush, how can we the people trust him to not do the same to us??? Some people will do anything for money and McClellan may be one of those people.

    May 30, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  7. Joe Reg

    You can never fool all the people all the time.

    Someone will always have the backbone to stand up.

    America salute you!!!

    May 30, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  8. Bobby Cail

    I was not surprised by the response by certain people in the media;over Mc Clellan and his contraversial book. He has in some circles been asked to apologize, and has been labeled Judas. The Judas is our government and mainstream media for sending our troops to sacrifice body, mind body and soul for lies. They are the ones who need to apologize the the citizens and especially the troops. Scott McClellan should be applauded for having the courage; and for having ethics and principles. Maybe he can be an example to the administration and our gutless congress.

    Bob Cail
    El Paso Texas

    May 30, 2008 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  9. linda from South Dakota

    i support mclellan 100% and i think we all knew tht bush was up to no good along with his "buddies in congress" thts why he and mccain had that"secret meeting" and wow, raised a bunch of $$s,, and guess who it will go to ,, mccain<<< what a jerk,, especailly when he said ON TV< that he would NEVER leave the war,, never<?? he should be impeached,,,,,,, others have been for less ,,, GO OBAMA!!!!08

    May 30, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  10. Russelly

    Dole hasn't read the book but has plenty to say about it? And as for Bush being puzzled, that was quickly resolved when someone pointed out that he was holding the book upside down.

    May 30, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  11. Tyrone Brown

    It is only natural for the Bush White House to attack Mr. McClellan, since they are blinded by their own incompetence and inability to be truly honest with the American people. Many may ask why McClellan didn't speak up earlier, but time will make that argument a mute point. He is has spoken and his words are nothing short of "speaking truth to power."

    May 30, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  12. David O

    OOOOOOH!

    You know the GOP doesn't want that.

    May 30, 2008 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  13. Independant Thinker

    This man has SOLD his SOUL to the Democratic party for a few cubits, just like Judas sold out Jesus.

    May 30, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  14. Ron Turner

    How encouraging to see one of the "true believers" come to his senses and come to understand and speak the truth. Only 26% to go.

    May 30, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  15. OMG!

    WITH A 60-75% FAILURE RATING OF THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION WHAT MORE HARM CAN IT DO...THANKS FOR BRINGING THIS TO LIGHT. BUSH IS TRYING TO GO OUT WITH A BANG ANYWAY. FOR ALL YOU HATERS, THE TRUTH HURTS.

    May 30, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  16. Jeff Posson

    "Former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said Friday he would be willing to comply with a rumored congressional subpoena to discuss the administration’s handling of pre-war intelligence, telling CNN’s Wolf Blitzer he’d be 'glad to share my views' if asked to testify."

    How in the world did that become...

    "McClellan: 'I'd be glad' to testify about Bush White House"?

    I guess you just wanted an exciting headline to stir up the pot, grab some readers.

    Because let's be honest , whoever wrote this aritcle (Ms. Sinderbrand?) intentionally (or so I hope; otherwise, it's just shoddy misleading writing) attempted to change the circumstances of the statement in order to create unwarranted controversy.

    Which I suppose is par for the course these days. Perhaps journalistic integrity is not that important.

    It's headlines like these and the pointless, inflammatory articles that follow them that make people not trust news companies.

    Please CNN, report the facts, "copy and paste" reporting is for the fair and balanced, and has no place in a legitimate news organization.

    Which I hope you still are.

    May 30, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  17. JFK

    Please testify so these crooks can be sent to jail!

    May 30, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  18. Alphonse Moneau

    Is Mr. McClellan lying or telling the truth?
    My suspicion is that this man is telling the truth; he is actually confirming what American people suspected that president Bush mislead the public to wage the unnecessary Iraqi war. An act of courage for senator McCain should be, I believe, for him to look into the eyes of the American people and spell it out that he has dissociated himself from President Bushs lies and failed policies including the war in Iraq. If senator McCain does not do that, then those who believe that Senator McCain is seeking president Bushs third term may not be far from the truth.

    May 30, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  19. John D

    By all means, testify. But remember, what goes around comes around. Unless the Democrats are going to set up their incarnation of the Soviet Union or National Socialist Germany, there is the possibility that people will tire of being preached to by wealthy Liberals and forced to comply with the dictates of the hordes of unaccountable bureaucrats that the Democrats wish to impose on us, and the Republicans back in power.

    The Democrats are of the opinion that the only Republicans there are are the go-along-get-along crowd that they currently face. If the Republicans continue being Democrat-Lite the Democrats can be sure of maintaining power. But, if the Republicans reinvent themselves as a Conservative-Libertarian party, they will walk over the authoritarian Democrats.

    But in the short run, the Democrats and Liberals have been quite vocal on what they see as the failings of GWB, they have written and spoken on it incessantly. It is very likely that the next President will be a Democrat. As it stands right now, probably Obama. We must all make sure that the next President, be it Obama or Hillary, is held to the same standards that they have been pillorying GWB for not meeting.

    Not only that, they must do so and win. Either failing to meet their own standards or failing to achieve their stated goals should be sufficient for robust criticism.

    About 50% of the country considers themselves conservative leaning toward libertarianism. Those people should expect for their voices to be heard under a Democrat administration. There should be no suppression of dissent, no spying on people because of their politics, no secret deals, no favorable treatment for supporters at the expense of everyone else. The list goes on.

    All those things are actions that GWB has been accused of, though actual proof has been wanting. Obama or Hillary will have to make sure that none of the things laid at GWBs feed occur on their watch .

    Else they find themselves in front of a hostile congress being asked to explain.

    May 30, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  20. concerned American

    There have been many books written in America regarding the corruption in American politics. When I attended college, I decided that Political Science would be be my major. After a couple of internships at a couple of government agencies, I quickly changed my mind. Politics is a nasty business and I don't have the stomach for it. However, someone has to do it. We can only hope that the persons that we vote into office for President will be sincere and do some of the things that will benefit America. This is why we should think first of what is in the best interest of America. America as a nation is not focused on the many issues that we as a nation face; we go from one piece of trash to another. McCellan came out with his book too late. I do not believe that he is suddenly acting out of remorse and the fact that he did not know what was going on, rather the fact is that he will get away with going along with the Bush administration and sign a book deal to boot. We as American's will buy his book and make him rich, because Americans like mess. This is evidenced by the fact that the Republicans were voted in office and stayed in office for so many years. Many will vote republican in the coming election. The issues are: poor expensive health care, the failing economy, social services, mental health issues, and the war that is killing so many of our young people; this is just to name a few. We should be so focused on these issues at this time, that nothing should be important until these issues are addressed and solved. How will this book affect us and our families. This book is not news to many Americans, just another Author's views. Lets get together and vote on the issues and stay focused. Whoever you vote for, get out there and do it! I think that Senator Clinton is the strongest candidate. We need someone to advocate for America's problems and who has experience doing it. Experience is very crucial for a President. We do not need a President in training at this time.

    May 30, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
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