June 20th, 2008
11:00 AM ET
10 years ago

McClellan doubts Bush knew about CIA leak

Scott McClellan testified before Congress Friday.

Scott McClellan testified before Congress Friday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A former Bush spokesman said Friday he did not think the president knew about the leak of a CIA agent's identity, but refused to give the same assurances about Vice President Dick Cheney.

"I do not think the president had any knowledge" of the revelation of Valerie Plame Wilson's identity, Scott McClellan said at a House Judiciary committee hearing. "In terms of the vice president, I do not know."

McClellan said the White House is still concealing information about its role in the leak of a CIA agent's identity.

"This matter continues to be investigated by Congress because of what the White House has chosen to conceal from the public," McClellan said. "Despite assurances that the administration would discuss the matter once the Special Counsel had completed his work, the White House has sought to avoid public scrutiny and accountability."

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Filed under: President Bush • Valerie Plame
soundoff (132 Responses)
  1. clarence virginia beach va

    Most of you people on this blog , voted for Bush twice. Why he was a good old guy, you can sit and have a beer with. You get what you deserve, and while the HRC supporters vote for Mcsame. I'll just hunker down and try to survive. They do it all the time in third world countries.

    June 20, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  2. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I doubt Bush knows much of anything like his father did with Iran Contra. I would have hoped that McClellan's testamony would help clear this up quickly. It doesn't seem like that is going to happen as quickly as I would like.

    June 20, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  3. Anthony

    "According to a recent study by the Center for Public Integrity, top Bush Administration officials told at least 935 lies about Iraq on 532 separate occasions. These included 259 lies by Bush, 254 lies by Secretary of State Colin Powell, 109 lies by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, 109 lies by Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, 56 lies by National Security Advisor Condi Rice, and 48 lies by Vice President Cheney."

    Nothing more needed to be said about how corrupt the Bush adminstration is, change is coming and Obama is man for that job.

    GO OBAMA!! 08'

    June 20, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  4. NoMcSame

    Ralph who? That old skelitoid needs to go back into the hole that he hides in for 3.5 yrs. This snake sticks his undercover republican head up just to help them. Obama has the money and now they want to tie his hands. I will send him money every payday so that I can be more of a part of the change that is going to come. The hate will come out for all to see just like it did with Bill and Hillary. The use of code words just to say that we are one of you but Obama is not is the way they do it. He is more of us all than John McSame or Ralph Who.
    Obama08 with or without you.

    June 20, 2008 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  5. zivo24

    There's a reason why Cheney is the first vice-president in generations to not run for the White House when the president was term limited or retiring.

    He's been the puppet master for eight years. He enjoys hiding the devious little man behind the curtain, pushing buttons and pulling strings for a visage of a wizard.

    He knows that if he comes out from the curtain everyone will see what a small and powerless man he really is without all the smoke and mirrors.

    June 20, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  6. Toni


    I agree with you 100%. Bush was the worst thing that has happened to this country. He knows it, and his parents know it. They knew he was a slacker and should never have supported his candidacy. He should have been a one time mayor in Crawford, and called it a day. He couldn't run my neighborhood council.

    He needs to step up to the plate now, now with photo ops of things he should have done a long time ago, but by admitting that he made several mistakes (putting it lightly). He is not a man of honor and our country can learn a lesson from 8 years of humiliation.

    I'm still waiting for a Republican to apologize to me for voting for this clown. I voted for Gore and Kerry. I did the right thing and I have nothing to be ashamed of–anyone who voted for Bush once, owes the country an apology.

    June 20, 2008 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  7. Independent-woman-4-Obama

    OF COURSE BUSH KNEW! Weren't Nixon AND Clinton IMPEACHED FOR MUCH LESS??????????



    June 20, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  8. Helene

    Is there anything that Bush knew during his presidency ? The worst president ever !

    June 20, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    My gut says that Bush was either totally ignorant of what was occuring, or was totally cognizant but stayed his distance. I just hope Bush doesn't pull a Boris Yeltsin-recall the 2000 retirement at midnight out of Y2K fears-on the eve of the Inauguration.

    June 20, 2008 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  10. Timothy

    If Republicans want to repay the American people back for allowing George Bush, the Worst President In History, to be our president they should never do the following:

    Vote for another Bush in office. That includes Jeb, and all of his kids, and any other Bush who runs. They are poison, and America has had enough.

    In fact, why don't we elect someone who isn't rich for a change. That would be a refreshing change. It could happen, especially since Barack has changed the way we finance presidential elections. We can do it America. Let's get someone who can really change things around–after Barack of course. No more Bushes–ever.

    June 20, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  11. Crush Rush

    The scariest part is seeing how much power a VP can now have.It just shows who was really the President. While George was reading "My Pet Goat",Cheney was already planning a war.

    June 20, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  12. Mike G- Ventura ca

    McClellan may be right. The President "doesn't know" about MOST things that are going on in this country! 213 Days and COUNTING!

    June 20, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  13. TonyS

    Maybe we should impeach the American people who voted Bush into office twice. You are all so much smarter than the American people.

    Nader/Gonzalez '08

    June 20, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  14. Ian

    "Fool me once shame on me...shame on you...won't get fooled again"

    June 20, 2008 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  15. WisCon

    now he's lying? the last few weeks he was the golden boy that finally told the truth. Wasn't Richard Armitage the person that leaked the name. And he was never charged with anything because it wasn't against the law for him to do so. So what is this investigation about anyway. Maybe just a witch hunt. Hey dems why does you democrat congress keep funding this war if they are so opposed to it? Maybe they used that argument to get elsected in the 2006 elestion. Talk about suckers!

    June 20, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  16. indiePA

    What a surprise!!!!! What does he know?? And where does the buck stop???

    June 20, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |

    From Bush:

    " It depends on what the definition of knew is"
    "Did I know or did I no?"

    June 20, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  18. Jerry in Boston

    The modus operandi of the Bush administration is deliberate Obfuscation and contrary to the received wisdom that they're all thick as pig poop, they're actually very good at it.

    It wouldn't surprise me one bit if McClellan was asked to muddy the waters as part of the ongoing campaign to bamboozle the Amercan people.

    You can't impeach someone if don't know what the hell is going on!

    June 20, 2008 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  19. maria

    Even though he is testifying he is still just as guilty. This investigation is just a waste of time and money, these crooked politician aren't going to do anything. If the average American knows the criminal activity of the Bush Regime, surely they know all the offenses this administration has commited and haven't done anything in all this time, they aren't going to. Shame on them all
    That Nancy Peolosi makes me SICK!

    June 20, 2008 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  20. Texan for Progression

    To those of you who will never vote for Obama, stop using ridiculous arguments (e.g., Obama flip-flopping on NAFTA) to support what is nothing more than suborned foolishness. Understand this, Obama has not flip-flopped on NAFTA. He has always said that it needed to be reworked because it didn't benefit blue-collar workers. He never said to scrap the entire agreement, so for him to now comment on good aspects does not necessarily contradict his original argument that it needs to be reworked. Of those who refuse to vote for Obama, there are a small few who will not based on their own personal LEGITIMATE concerns, but the overwhelming majority of you have not based your decision on fact. You have first made the decision to not vote for him and then, consequently, sought out the reasons why. This is the reason you accept the ridiculous, self-contradicting arguments like: he's a Muslim whose true name is Barry that attended the America-Hating "Christian" church for 20 years.

    June 20, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. Randy

    so the headline should read "Mclellan can't implicate Vice President" its funny how CNN reports....biased....no way

    June 20, 2008 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  22. Anita from Arizona

    We all had our suspisions, so did his staff.

    June 20, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  23. Brian From Knoxville has now transformed into Knoxville Operation Chaos

    If you think ANYTHING went on in this war without Bush knowing, you're insane. Daddy Bush is still pulling the strings BIGTIME. IF W didn't know, you bet your 4 dollar Gas that George HW did.

    Bush's presidency wasn't about him doing anything positive, it was an effective way for the Bush family and their cronies to LOOT all they could from the United States.

    A Trillion dollars on a War? Who do you think that money went to? Iraq still looks like a piece of crap. Who got the contracts for the weapons, the oil contracts? Contracts for being "bodyguards"? How much of the money was lost under the table?

    It was a SETUP from jump. Daddy Bush planted his son and got him elected when JEB helped steal Florida in 2000.

    Does anyone think it's Ironic that the state that happened to be governed by BUSH's Brother was the state that made the determination?

    LMAO. The Trilateral Commision strikes again....Now, they are trying to get their hooks in OBAMA.

    June 20, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  24. Mcshame

    slam Bush he deserves it!!!!!!!!!!

    June 20, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  25. pam Eugene OR

    Congress, please get back to work. There is so much to do. If you wanted Bush you should have done something 2 years ago. It does not matter now and we have a host of critical issues to fix. Bush is a lame duck now so let him limp out of sight and fix what is broken in our country.
    We don't have to have revenge but we do have to fix things that are broken. FOCUS please. Let history judge Bush.
    Obama 08/12

    June 20, 2008 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
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