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. kim portland, oregon

    it's too bad you didnt get this shot of integrity sooner, but 78% of americans are 100% behind you, mclellan!!!!!

    wait....listen....what was that sound!?!? the beautiful clanking of the war criminals' SILVER BRACELETS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    hey, repugs, dont let the door hit you, where beelzebub split you!!!!

    May 30, 2008 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  2. True Patriot doing the Right Thing

    While Bush was wrapping himself in the flag, claiming "Mission Accomplished", it takes the courage of a true patriot to stand up and say what is right in the face of overwhelming criticism.

    If only Hillary had that "Profile in Courage" moment when she had the opportunity to vote against the war, but instead took the expediant route and hedged with the polls and her future Presidential aspirations and voted for war. Only, if... I'd be voting for her.

    Instead, the only candidate with integrity in this race is Obama. I voted for him in the primaries and will vote again for Obama in the GE.

    May 30, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  3. Reality

    JUSTICE is on its way for WAR CRIMES and sending our military into a unnecessary war in Iraq and for many other wrong doings.

    May 30, 2008 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  4. La Raza

    to Hillary in 08

    Although it hurts, I will pray for you.

    Hey CNN, I can't believe you let that blog through! Wake up the moderator!

    May 30, 2008 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  5. justthefacts

    its funny that now he's telling the truth and a liberal hero, but working for the bush adm. he was a blathering idiot. that tells the whole story.

    May 30, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  6. BVS Maine

    too little, too late ... and there is still blood on his hands ... but better late than nevah. B

    May 30, 2008 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  7. kim portland, oregon

    i am laughing at all you hater repugs out there who worshipped mclellan's every word when he was the mouthpiece for these criminal neocons!

    so which one it is-is he a liar NOW or was he a liar THEN?!!?!?

    thank god you're only about 24% of americans these days!

    May 30, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  8. You're all hypocrites

    Look at all the little liberals embracing Scott McClellan! It seems like just yesterday you liberals were telling us that McClellan was nothing but scum and we shouldn't believe a word he says.

    May 30, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  9. NickNas

    Just like with the MANY defectors from Hillarys camp that saw the light you can call ONE of them JUDAS but when it becomes a FLOOD it is called FREEDOM!!!!!

    This is the beginning of the fall of the law breaking Bush Dynasty. I have been waiting for this for YEARS.

    May 30, 2008 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  10. jason



    May 30, 2008 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  11. Lew In Atlanta


    You are so right. He is admiting his mistakes. How courageous. Oh by the way, he is trying to sell a book and make a few million. Now thats courageous. Seems he was a leading critic on those who had left the administration earlier and written books. Big difference was those people had the guts to disagree while they were on the job. You are a joke McClellan.

    God help us all in 08, Clinton, McCain and Obama are all losers!!

    May 30, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  12. An American in Canada for David


    Obama’s Message is eerily similar to Bush’s Message way back when!

    "It's a message that is very similar to the one that Gov. Bush ran on in 2000," McClellan told CBS News.
    My Interpretation: He is so like Bush he can con everyone and once he is elected goes into the tower and pi** red on all Americans.
    "I have a lot of respect and admiration for Sen. McCain," he said. "I'm also intrigued by Sen. Obama."
    My Interpretation: I am intrigued with Obama because he is slyer than Bush who hoodwinked America.

    There is basically no difference between Bush who I have served and Obama who is spewing the same rhetoric that the poor delusional citizens are lapping up, Incredible.

    May 30, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  13. Jarhead68

    Didn't read every comment, just the first dozen or so. Do any of you Bush-haters know that the publisher has strong ties to none other than that anti-American traitor George Soros? Anything else you need to know? Scotty Boy is a disgruntled ex-employee who was brainwashed by the editor, who is a far-left Bush-hater himself. This book is for wiping your liberal sterns. Olberwoman called it a historical book. ROFLMAO. Bush Derangement Syndrome will be in your systems long after this January. I laugh at all you liberals because you are blind, deaf and dumb.

    May 30, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  14. osage

    I really hope MSNBC offers Scott McClellan a job as a political analyst so that he can perform the same duties for MSNBC that Karl Rove does for FOX. Also, I bleive Larry Craig has just annouced that "he" is writing a book. And just about every ex-Bush official has written a book to "leech" off of their previous jobs. Me thinks the Republicans who are critical of Scott McClellan's book wouldn't be critical at all if he was still drinking the Bush Kool-Aid and had written a flattering rather than critical book. Evidently, only Republicans who right flattering books about Republicans don't have mercenary motives

    May 30, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  15. NickSanDiego

    A BUSH staffer under OATH??? LOL It is OVER for Bush now. He has spent all of his time preventing just that and circumventing US LAW and constitution.

    They are TOAST NOW.

    Unless this guy has an " Accident"

    May 30, 2008 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  16. William Cobb

    Why is it when someone tells the truth about Bush, people find the truth so hard to believe?

    May 30, 2008 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  17. Otto

    To those of you who are bashing this guy; I'd like to ask you a question. What would you think if Powell comes forward with a truthful book; would you bash him and call him dirty names too?

    I would love to read his "Slam Dunk" book and I hope he'll write it soon BUT he is too much a gentleman and having the army training, I guess he'll take his memories to his grave.

    I'll tell you the truth; if he writes trithfully; Bush and all his friends will be charged for treason. Dig that Mac!

    May 30, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  18. Shannon

    I love how CNN takes 33 comments on Obama's racist friends. I guess CNN is so in love with Obama, they won't allow anyone to post about the obvious hatred Obama and his supporters seem to have for white people.

    May 30, 2008 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  19. Brandon

    All you Hillary supporters who are ready to switch to John McCain in the general elections are idiots in the purest form. You have no understanding of the real issues in this race, most paramount being the future of our foreign policy and our standing in the world. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

    May 30, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  20. Observer

    Caligula or Bush ? What's the difference ? Caligula had some scruples.....

    May 30, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  21. John Black

    In case you folks haven't read it ;ya'll need to pick yourselves up a co-py of the book THE Bush Family Dynasty.The book explains of how he was a sloppy irresponsible drunk all the way through high school.wh-ile at Yale is explained of how( W )got locked -up three times for crack paraphernalia & substance abuse.the book tells of how his daddy & grandpa paid his way through Yale.Speaks of his A W O L problem. the reason that you'll never find all of the records is that his daddy & grandpa had them inducted into the national archives. the book also tells about the reason that Barbara didn't live in the White House is be-cause HW had a mistress that lived in NEW YORK(.check it out)

    May 30, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  22. chaos

    These comments are hilarious. McClellan has not brought out any facts in his book; it is all his opinion. It's hilarious how all the loons raving about how great a man he is only say so because they think that he can confirm something they desperately believe in. He can't. He has nothing but his opinion. He doesn't have any facts to back it up.

    May 30, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  23. Denny Sangiovanni

    The guy took us to war and lie about why. Dollar is down everywhere. People can't drive to work cause gas price. You go to the Supermarket and can't buy same as a you did 8 years before him. Lot of young people died in Afganistan and Irak. Thousands main sick over the war. Why don't they impeach this guy???

    May 30, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  24. Brian

    He seems to be right about this administration they think they are ALWAYS right and will NEVER listen to anyone that says anything different!

    May 30, 2008 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  25. Ralph

    That's because he is clearing his conscience and aches to tell all. He welcomes the courtroom. I hope all the war criminals wind up in jail

    May 30, 2008 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
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