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. KE

    American voters are the victim of political corruption.

    Hillary Clinton has more popular votes than Obama and McCain, yet she is being pushed out of the race. Hillary Clinton is not a victim of sexism. American voters are the victim of political corruption and sexism and racism were used against us.

    Hillary stay in the race.

    May 30, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  2. H Arnold; Chicago IL

    And people want to talk about Senator Obama and a prietst who has his own thoughts........Americans, please do you look at your wife or husband and agree with everything he/she says.....The real issue is Mr. McClellan is going to tell you the truths about the Bush Administration. He knew what was going on.....They tried to keep him in the dark until he realized the problem was from the top down.

    That's the real truth and Senator McCain if elected will bury it.....
    The Republicans want the White House so they can bury the evidence about Iraq, New Orleans, Afghanistan, Halliburton, Private Security Companies in the Middle East, the record profits of oil barons, etc.

    Mr. McClellan is willing to testify in court....That for most Americans should say something.............

    May 30, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  3. Newly Independent for Hillary

    CNN, you cut off the comments to the Rev. Pflager controversy to 33 comments.


    Please, CNN, or somebody:

    Is Obama half white or not? If he is, does he know it?

    I sure in heck won't forget the Rev. Pflager's comments any time soon.

    May 30, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  4. carlos

    After thousands upon thousands have died? no amount of
    conscience will wash the blood off McCellans hands.

    How can we as a People allow any further Death and Suffering,
    where are you America?

    May 30, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  5. Uncle Fester

    McLellan just confirms what others have said already. It it refreshing to see a politician (especially a republican) put country before party.

    Bob Dole needs to go back to pimping viagra

    May 30, 2008 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  6. nitro

    You guys rport the crappiest news I have ever heard. How in the worild does the Catolics criticize obama for a catholic priest saying what he said. This s&!t is rediculouswhat you raciest people are trying to do. They need to worry about the little boys they are screwing.

    May 30, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  7. Fred l

    IF and that's a big if Scott is telling the truth than why did he wait so long?

    He'd of been far more credible if he'd of resigned while on duty. this is all a bit fishy & stinks of opportunity. Just so happens to be when his book is coming out.

    How timely...

    May 30, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  8. Carrie Pa

    Bush and his cronies need to be prosecuted for their actions.

    May 30, 2008 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  9. Ralph

    Judas? Are you kidding me? That requires a bad person to betray a good one. Are you stoned or just stuck on stupid? This guy is a hero and should be praised by anyone who loves our country.

    May 30, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  10. Dori in AZ

    McClellan, whatever his motivations, can be congratulated for finally living out loud. We have been led like lambs to the slaughter – in more ways than folks can imagine. Began before the current Bush administration, but it has only gotten worse.

    Iraq is just one piece. Note the rising costs of food (for humans & our animals) as well as fuel, & the possibility of not being able to afford them (if we can get them at all!) on the domestic front. Health care crisis. Global warming issues. Contaminated & dangerous imports killing or sickening our humans – even our children! – & our animals. Outsourced American jobs. People losing their homes & their life savings. FDA. FEMA. Our "friends" in other countries.... The list is, from all appearances, endless. And, much of it is precariously life threatening.

    My hope lies with Obama & the best possible advisers that he can surround himself with to start to pull us out before we are past the point of no return. And, I pray.... a lot!

    May 30, 2008 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  11. Rave

    Good job Mr. McClellan, you spoke the truth. Everyone knew this was all wrong... you just confirmed by speaking out.
    Can you also say something about a candidate called Hillary.. she is getting desperate to get into the white house and already started lying, deceiving people (including her own party running mates).
    Just imagine the mess she will create is she goes to the white house.. Then we will say Bush was a great president compared to Hillary
    OBAMA 2008-16

    May 30, 2008 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  12. 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 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  13. KE

    The Obama campaign wanted 50 % of Michigan???

    American voters are the victims of political corruption.

    I heard the congressional leaders have a lower approval rating than Bush.

    Hillary Clinton has more popular votes than Omaba or McCain, yet she is being pushed out of the race.

    May 30, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  14. Confused

    Why was the comments closed after 8 minutes on the discussion on the Obama and Pfleger/Catholic League controvery, and this one has been going on for over 2 hours?

    May 30, 2008 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  15. Elizabeth, NC

    You go boy. Go ahead and testify. I know this is a very trying time for you but stand your ground. Tell the truth and be able to sleep at night. And to all those who say he is doing this for monetary gains: get real. Who in their right mind will write such a juicy book for writing sake. Honey, I'm on my way to purchase a copy. Anyone wants a copy?

    May 30, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  16. Sandy

    OBAMA IS A LIAR...This is the norm from his church. These reverends and Priest have been his Mentors. People clapping and hooting and hollering. Obama is a racist if I ever saw one. He hates white people.

    May 30, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  17. What did Bush do to him?

    Because this guy is GLEEFULLY socking it to the Bush administration. Its almost like he is RELISHING this to no end.

    I'm enjoying it!

    May 30, 2008 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  18. Don Jones

    The Catholics should shut up and clean up their dirty house!

    May 30, 2008 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |


    May 30, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  20. Blayze Kohime

    All those criticizing this man should be ashamed, they have no right to call themselves Americans after attacking someone's free speech for speaking out against them. This sort of behavior by our government has gone on too long.

    May 30, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  21. Sunny

    It's despicable for someone to write a book to tell all about the white house. It seems it was for financial gain. If he wanted to say something, he should just say it.

    May 30, 2008 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  22. Ricardo Phillips of D.C

    This 30 member panel has me suspicious. There are 13 clinton superdelegates, 8 Obama Superdelegates,9 Uncommitted Delegates. Can you say Clinton wins by vote. America we need to look at this can you say cover up.

    "United We Stand, Obama in Demand".

    May 30, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  23. Gemmeg

    It is time to take Bush and Tony Blair to Hague. They have to answer for the lost of americans, british and iraqis who died in this war based on lies. International communities are so good to take only leaders from 1/3 countries to Hague.

    May 30, 2008 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  24. Bob Sanders

    What a tool McClellan has become. I guess we all know now what his price is for becoming a sell out. Bob Dole had it right, if the "man" was so offended, why didn't he man-up and speak out at the time? This little dweeb of a so called man now runs around on all the liberal stations, ABC, NBC, ABC, and CNN to tell his little story for cash. I guess he'll end up on the rubber-chicken circuit with the other liberal losers like Helen Thomas, the entire cast from Air America and MSNBC.

    First question by a Republican when McClellan is under oath: "So Scott, how much did Soros pay you to come up with these lies?"

    May 30, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  25. Archie H.

    Sounds like a hell of deal for lots of money! Wake up America; these people have no scruples !

    May 30, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
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