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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. Jose

    Obama-Webb! Testify under oath? Wow, not that's saying something. That's a Democratic American for you, if you'd remember but let slide?

    May 30, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. Army Veteran Against McCain

    Reasons why Veterans, active duty personell, and anyone who cares about them should not vote for McCain:

    *AWOL for May 22nd vote on GI Bill. Expressed opposition to bill saying "it was too generous to Veterans".

    *Voted against Bill in September that would have mandated adequate rest for troops between combat deployments.

    *Voted No on $1.5-billion increase for Veteran Medical services (money would have come from closing corporate tax loophole).

    *Voted No on establishing a trust fund to bolster underfunded Veteran Hospitals.

    *Voted No in May 2006 against $20-billion allotment for expanding Veteran Medical Facilities.

    *Voted No in April 2006 to increase Veteran Outpatient care.

    *Voted No in March 2004 another $1.8-billion reserve for Veteran Medical care (again funded by closing corporate tax loopholes).

    Bottomline, McCain is more interested in taking care of big business then the men and women he wrongly sent to fight in Iraq.

    May 30, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. Jay

    You go Scott! Take those corrupt SOBs down!

    May 30, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |

    McClellan.. I am IMPRESSED.... You ARE willing to testify.... (somebody better get this guy a flak jacket)

    May 30, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  5. Samuel T. Horton

    I am so glad McLellan is willing to testify. Lets get a congressional hearing. Lets get him under oath so he can hang himself. He has no evidence at all except that he SAYS SO . This is a great way to discredit the guy and hopefully even catch him lying. Put the guy in jail.

    May 30, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  6. Enlightned Voter

    I believe him completely. We all know the bush/cheney/mccain republican machine lied through their bleached teeth. Remember mcwar coming from Iraq saying how safe it was? Why does he keep opposing all these GI bills? Republicans are disgusting!

    May 30, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  7. Pope

    maybe he should tesity.... let al lthe repub dirt out.... so all the Hillary Supporters who are voting for MCSAME can see how deep the rabbit hole goes.....

    A vote for MCCAIN is a vote for your kids, grandkids and great grandkids to be killed by roadside IED's when MCCAIN enacts the DRAFT in 2010.

    But its ok... we hate OBAMA so much its worth it to send outrkids to die in the same for the next century for nothing.

    May 30, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  8. Jesus

    Do not judge the speck in your brother's eye, but rather the mote in your own.

    May 30, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. Veterans for Obama

    Nothing more enjoyable than watching these Republicans squirm. I believe an impeachment or war crimes trial are in order.

    May 30, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. Linda of Atlanta

    Well if he is willing to testify, he is a better man than Carl Rove. He refuses to say one word under oath. And it seems that our Congress is unwilling to make him. What a shame.

    May 30, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  11. Jon, East Longmeadow MA

    I hope Mr McMclellan doesn't have the "sudden urge" to "commit suicide" between now and any hearings...

    May 30, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  12. Franky

    Uh-Oh.............I'm out!! (Running o the car........starting the car...........hitting the gas!!!!)..........

    May 30, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. Richard, FL

    Typical response by Bush supporters. When they are cornered by truth, the 28%ers attack the messenger in the delusional fantasy that truth doesn't exist separate from a messenger.

    May 30, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  14. ThinkSmart

    I pray congress asks him to testify along with others. I bet if it was Clemens the date would be announced already.

    May 30, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  15. Newly Independent for Hillary

    McClellan has revealed new stuff to add to the bad stuff about Bush that we already knew.

    I would love to see McClellan testify!

    May 30, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  16. Matt

    This country needs to be open and honest about its gov't.

    That includes the ugliness that surrounds Bush and his hacks.

    May 30, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  17. Patty

    McClellan should testify under oath. It's time we all hear the truth about what's going on with Bush and his team. I'd also like to hear what the other side has to say, also under oath. However, who knows whether anyone is telling the truth under oath.

    May 30, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. Ben

    Go away! These are no news!

    May 30, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  19. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    Sounds like he's trying to come clean. That's a rare sight in this administration.

    May 30, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  20. Reform is always good

    amazing how bipartisan this issue can get, when in effect, McClellan stood up for the American people to reveal truths manipulatively hidden from us. that administration was voted in to REPRESENT Americans, not GW's wet dream. and it's GOOD to have an insider confirm what we all suspected. I don't give a rat's if your republican, democrat, or giraffe, it doesn't matter. this is about ethics, and it looks like McClellan found his standards. finally.

    May 30, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  21. Independent for Obama

    Seriously, I hate Bush as much as the next guy, but this McClellan guy is a total shill. He's doing nothing but reveling in his 15 minutes of fame.

    Frankly, I agree with Bob Dole – If I had known the truth in the W White House and didn't say anything, I wouldn't be too proud of myself for writing a book about my private disagreements now that 4,000+ American troops are dead.

    May 30, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  22. Jerry Tienter

    I am glad Scott McClellan is not my friend. I don't want a knife in my back!

    May 30, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  23. John

    Bravo Mr. McClellan for admitting the truth behind this sorry administration.

    May 30, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  24. Sallie Leigh

    Just an FYI....CNN needs to capitalize "american" in this text in a paragraph near the end, or you know it will get mis construed as McClellan's fault or some weird mistake on your part.

    May 30, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  25. Cynthia

    Good and I hope that they will call him and get some straight answers about a lot of things that have been said and done.

    May 30, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
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