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. Dana

    If Obama has to apologize about that new preacher then Hillary should denouce Ferraro. She hasn't yet. Why?

    Obama 08

    May 30, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  2. Charlotte

    The Obama-bots want to tie McCain to Bush but not Obama to Pfleger or Wright? Those pedphiles in the Catholic church at least did not stand up and profess their preversion, to the cheers of the congregation. Obama has to approve of this Churches
    retoric or he would have left. Divine Intervention come on!!!

    May 30, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  3. tw111

    When will CNN report that McCLellan's book is being funded and published by George Soros?

    May 30, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  4. 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 swiftboated by by the Dumb Dems!

    May 30, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  5. Doctor Jay

    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.

    For the record, I am a Hillary supporter. I will not be voting for John McCain. I don't hate Obama. It's crap like this that his supporters spew all over the internet that I hate. It's the same kind of crap we've had to take from Republicans for years, but with a new marketing package.

    Your diatribe does nothing at all to persuade me to actively support your candidate. Nothing. I will not be bullied.

    May 30, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  6. OMG!

    Please, Let it all out. The truth hurts.

    May 30, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  7. Sherri

    Thank you Mr. McClellan. Our country needs more brave people like you, willing to step up and tell the truth.

    May 30, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  8. Mike

    Sorry, apparently I can't spell –

    Michel Pfleger

    May 30, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  9. shame

    like mother like son.

    He is a blot on Texas.

    May 30, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  10. Iraq Vet for Obama

    Wow!!! Someone from this terrible administration is going to testify under oath. Having fought in Iraq and watched buddies die, I hope they put Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Rove, etc. on trial for war crimes, obstruction of justice....throw the book at them!!!!

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

    Maybe all of you Obama supporters need to get a room or something. Some of you are really starting to sound like a romance novel.

    May 30, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  12. Sharon

    Glad Scott is coming clean – perhaps his conscience got the better of him. Sad that he didn't reveal this stuff before more people (US Servicemen and women and hundred of thousands of Iraqs) were killed, wounded and psychologically screwed up in Iraq! But better late than never! I hope Bush/Cheney/ Rummey/Rice are tried and convicted of war crimes!

    May 30, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  13. aware

    Forget it McClellen! I am not a Republican but I smell an Obama camp rat! 🙁

    All the crazies are swinging to Obama!

    Get real Dems or lose! America is not far left!!

    May 30, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  14. Val

    TO "I have a goldfish" –

    I totally agree with you. May be we should form a coalition in support of President Bush to prove that he is not alone and that he has millions of people supporting him.

    How about that?

    May 30, 2008 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  15. Desmond Sequeira

    Whatever his motives, who needed this guy to tell them that Bush and Company were misleading the country and the world?

    May 30, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  16. Jack from California

    It's about time that someone of the "values crowd" got enough principle to tell the TRUTH.

    Criminal proceedings should follow his testimony to congress and a special prosecutor should be appointed immediately.

    May 30, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  17. charles

    McClellan has said what every person already knew, and the ones that are coming down on him know he is telling the truth and the truth hurts, especially this looser Dole.

    May 30, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  18. Charlotte

    I guess Obama did do somthing as a State Senator after all, a $100,000 state grant to Pfleger?

    May 30, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  19. andrew s. rostolder hillsdale nj

    you are applauded for standing up and standing your ground. dana perino has her nose so far up bush's butt, if he makes a turn her nose gets broken. it takes big ones to speak against the worst administration in the history of america.... kudos to you

    May 30, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  20. NO-BAMA

    Geez, lay off Bush already; he is irrelevant.

    Focus on the future and Senator Clinton's platform for fixing our economic crisis.


    May 30, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  21. DJ, LA, CA

    You Bush apologists are the same people that defending Nixon to the bitter end...this time it's worse.

    Richard Clarke said it best...that McClellan is just stating the obvious now, that people have realized Iraq was based on lies for years now. We already knew these things.

    Memo to the Republicans: how can all these people – most of whom hired by Bush/Cheney ALL be be liars? I can see if it was just one. But Clarke, O'Neill, Tenent, McClellan ALL liars? No way! The writing's on the wall face it.

    May 30, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  22. John Black

    Scott McClellan knows full well that this bush W hite House is a farce.Just as if he knows for sure that this war is in the same category All this war is about is the george bush family oil .these bush's aren't worth all of the blood-shed. The only way to end this nonsense is to get them outbush shouild have been canned years ago.Ican't under-stand how anyone could be so heartless.This war is not to protect our nation .it's to protect his other words .bush is spending our tax funds for his personal problem.he ought to be strung-up for treason.

    May 30, 2008 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  23. Rich

    So how much $$$ is he gonna make on the book???

    May 30, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  24. Dana

    Now Hillary is trying to compare our election to those in other countries that end in violence.. About rigging elections and violence.

    What is she trying to say?

    Will she ever stop?

    May 30, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  25. Tubby The Tuba

    Why is it that CNN has seven pictures of their candidate on the political ticker and Obama once? Guess that is fair and balanced like any good news reporting agency.

    May 30, 2008 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
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