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= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/30/art.mac.cnn.jpg 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. Army Wife

    ====== u know,

    --------–hearings are fine, but Then What????!!!!!!!

    May 30, 2008 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  2. Maya

    ANOTHER JUDAS, HOW MANY MORE.

    May 30, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  3. Mike in Calgary

    This is what you'd expect from any Honourable American, to tell the truth and respect the Congress and to put America first. His loyalty is obviously to the his country above all. Meanwhile Bush and Clinton continue to lie and mislead and to put SELF-SERVICE into the Public Service. Remember the cahllenge issued by JFK in his inaugural speech. McLellan continues to ask what he can do for his country.

    McLellan is a credit to your country.

    Mike

    May 30, 2008 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  4. Tex

    My oh my! Just looking at all the tickers today truly shows Clinton News Network (CNN) at its best! If there was ever any doubt what so ever, it should be crystal clear that Wolf, Dobbs, Schneider, Mooney, Johnson and Sinderbrand all coming out strong for Hillary.

    May 30, 2008 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  5. Sante

    Sleasy, Sleasy, Sleasy!!!

    May 30, 2008 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  6. Joshua College Station Texas

    This is startling, amazing, and refreshingly different from a Bushie. I am almost speechless. If McClellan testifies before Congress and validates the concerns and critical observations of so many outside of the Bush administration, this could serve to begin the process of finally bringing the NeoCons who have broken the laws and bent the Constitution to meet their own desires and needs to justice. The American people know increasingly clearly that they have been deceived and their wealth, trust, and basic rights abused in regards to so many issues (the Iraq War-al Qaeda connection, illegal wiretapping, Hurricane Katrina, Guantanamo, illegal extraditions, waterboarding, Valeria Plame, support of Blackwater, numerous war crimes, etc....—oh, I can't name them all there are so many...). The criminals need to be brought to justice. No official is above the law. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Powell, Gonzales, Mukasey, and their cooperative subordinates—the whole lot—need to be held accountable for their dishonesty and criminal doings. Executive privilege is unconstitutional!!! It's never too late to impeach!!!

    May 30, 2008 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  7. Independent

    Of course. It's an opportunity to promote his book, keep it in the public eye, and leech more money.

    Scum.

    May 30, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  8. Seriously

    Watch out bushy

    May 30, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  9. janey

    would someone just tell this guy his 15 minutes are over? Crawl back into the sewer where he belongs.

    May 30, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  10. Eleanor, SC

    McClellan is the lowest form of backstabbing weasel and deserves to have his fingernails pulled out one by one. He can use the money from his book to pay for his recovery.

    May 30, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  11. Robert from Washington

    The Bush White House fed this guy to the lions. So tell me again, what exactly does he owe Rove and his ilk?

    May 30, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  12. Bill, Covington

    The first time I saw McClellen, when re was to replace Ari Fleischer I became ill and vomited. I still feel the same about him. HE SUCKS.
    With a little luck he will wind up under the buss on his way to testify.
    What a pity it is that Bush did not see him for the low-life he is.

    May 30, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  13. georgemyers

    His book should be titled "I didn't believe in any of this crap before, but then I got a book deal"

    May 30, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  14. A.J. in Fla

    Mr. McCellan you shlould join Mr. Obama's team and cozy up to the other "stand up" citizen, Mr. Richardson.

    May 30, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  15. George W. Bush

    Et tu, Scotte?

    May 30, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  16. LYNETTE IN CA

    Are we sure that Bush CAN read? He doesn't read reports he just listens to the talking heads around him. That's why we're in the mess we're in now. He only gets briefed. By now, I'm sure he's been briefed on this book and has a complete understanding of how this affects him and those around him.

    May 30, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  17. David D Kollie

    It is about time for someone to testisfy. Karl Rove refused. At least McClellan is willing to defend himself against numerous accusations about foul play or disloyalty to his employer–"THE DECIDER".
    "I AM THE DECIDER" sounds like a DICTATOR TO ME. Go McClellan reveal the truth.

    May 30, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  18. Charlotte

    Nancy, quit trying to force Hillary out of the race and put that effoet into Impeaching Bush...

    May 30, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  19. Total Northern California Democrat for Obama

    where are the indictments?

    May 30, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  20. Hilary no place ....

    Oh don't they hate to read the truth in the new book out thats the truth .
    Way to go Mc Clellan .

    Its a change from hearing the many Bosnia lies from gas tax, their math on and onOMG that would fill a book with her lies.

    Go Obama 08/12

    May 30, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  21. Steve

    High crimes and misdemeanors? Maybe, but it's too late for impeachment proceedings. Bush would claim executive privilege, despite the book's release. However, this might keep the yellow dog in check until the democrats take over.

    May 30, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  22. BILL AND HILARY ARE FOOLISH

    Considering the reality Show run by Hialry and Bill in this election, I consider them a part of Hollywood and attain the status of celebrities to them than politicians and would like to see them Leave this country.

    May 30, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  23. independant

    This story is really making Obama supporters go goo-goo-gah-gah.

    May 30, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  24. Math Wiz

    Did we really need this guy to tell us what we already knew?

    May 30, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  25. aware

    How much is team Obama paying you Scott? Whatever it is it isn't worth it traitor! 🙁

    Former Dem voting for McCain if Hillary continues to be swiftboate by by the Dumb Dems!

    May 30, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
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