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. Mark

    Way to Go Scott!!... We all Applaud you for your truthfullness, and your desire to make sure the truth is heard!! Keep up the good work, and let the games begin!

    May 30, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  2. Chris Banner

    I am very surprised about the attacks from the Old Republicans towards McClellan
    If the guy took the time to gather all the infos and tell the truth, where 's a problem with that?
    You lots republicans are frustrated because Scott told the TRUTH, and we know the TRUTH hurts...None of you can't contradict what he said, you are just calling him names... Well if you have a point you would have made, just let the truth come out.
    I will be among the first ones to buy this book even though we know what's in there, just need to read more about the mess that Bush and his advisors have led us into
    God help the USA

    May 30, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  3. Chuck

    Thank you, Mr. McClellan, for telling the truth. It can no longer be said that all Bushies from Texas are corrupt liars.

    Dole lied in calling McClellan a miserable creature. He is not. We are fortunate Dole was not elected president - to a lesser level of deceit, Dole told us after taking money from the tobacco industry that its uncertain whether smoking causes cancer. Another lie.

    May 30, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  4. 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 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  5. rexx

    Bob dole is right. McClellan is just one more greedy pig who if he had disagreed should have resigned from the administration. Funny how the Left is grasping at this like a dying man to a life raft. Just goes to show why even with all the chances they get the Dems will once again lose the Whitehouse come November to the better man. Welcome to President McCain. Reagan Democrats will once more turn away from a far leftest radical like Obama. Funny how McClellan seems to support Obama huh? Keep cashing the checks scotty your 15 minutes is almost up lol

    May 30, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. NoMcSame

    If he is telling lies SUE him but if he is not and they don't we should sent Bush to JAIL. He caused so many deaths for his own little thrill.
    So now its not cool to be a SNITCH? So we should tell everybody not to speak up against crime and the ones that commit them. This country is going down the tubes. Rove and the rest of the klan can do what ever they want and not pay for it even if it cost American lives. WHAT?
    Clinton has proven that this country has no rules as long as you can get away with it or win. Wake up AMERICA

    May 30, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  7. Nick in NY

    LIBERALS (and others) – Do not buy Scott's book, and make him millions of dollars in the process. He consciously misled the American people. I don't give a crap if he's been converted. Again, do not buy this book! At most, rent of from a library or something.

    May 30, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. Robert in Toronto,ON

    It will be interesting to see if this book/story gets some coverage...but unless more critical talking points come out I fear the Democratic nomation process and the following general election will drown out this story.

    May 30, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. Curtis Sommer

    Lies and deceit, durinf wartime, from the Neo Cons infesting both the Executive and Legislative Branches is Treason!
    Aiding and abetting Treason by deliberate inaction by the Democrats leads one to believe they are also in Conflict of Interest and Collusion so they must be replaced so we can begin to reset the same United States Constitution to one the Founding Fathers fought and die for!!

    May 30, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  10. buckeye in GA

    Strange how brave this man seems all of a sudden.

    May 30, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  11. Marc PDX

    Money! I think I'll write an expose about my parents and make it sound really salacious! See if I can make a buck or two also.

    May 30, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  12. What a Day

    Thank you Scotty. You did the right thing. I am not too concerned about your timing. Bob Dole need to take his medication and get off the viagra.

    May 30, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  13. YouareagoodmanMcclellan

    You are a good man Mr. Scott McClellan do not be intimidated by the the lying Republicans (false christians) who support and work for this admistration. I am glad you finally came out clean we all make mistakes, but God will forgive you for your repentens and honesty do not worry about any one else.

    May 30, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  14. Berat, Park Ridge, IL

    Bob Dole is a terrible, terrible man, and he has become an apologist for the worst presidential administration in the history of our country. While I think it's usually dangerous to speculate on what the dead would think, I have this sneaking suspicion that Barry Goldwater is looking down rather angrily at his old Senate friend, wondering when in the hell the Republican Party became the party of lies, scandal, and betrayal.

    May 30, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  15. Brandon

    I just want to emphasize that none of Mr McClellan's critics are disputing his claims, they are just calling him names.

    So its up to us to decide... Do we value loyalty to a President or loyalty to the American People more?

    May 30, 2008 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  16. wycliffe, NJ

    And the truth shall set you free...truth is a higher calling

    May 30, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  17. JA Cook

    No doubt he'll expose some miserable creatures: George Bush, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove.

    May 30, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. Nancy D

    Bob who? He has not even read the book!!

    First he is no longer relevant except in his own mind. Secondly, it just shows the miserable state of our political affairs that each party often finds it more convenient to just hunker down and tote the party line than to seek the truth. Sounds more like a Totalitarian state that it is more important to be a loyal party member. This administration has done some very miserable things. If the Republicans are to re-deem themselves, they are going to have to own up to a lot of the abuses they have perpetuated during the Bushy years.

    May 30, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  19. Jason CA

    If you are willing to write a tell all book about an administration, you better be prepared for federal testimony in front of congress.

    Makes you wonder why this guy choose to do this now? Either way, he may be telling the truth... question is, are we prepared for the dirty answers that will arise???

    May 30, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  20. Will in Richmond, VA


    Bring the house down!!! If this guy is willing to go under oath, especially before November, and testify to the truthfulness of this work, then a German Shepherd will be able to beat McCain.

    May 30, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  21. MBFLA

    I'm happy that anyone is willing to tell the truth about this administration UNDER OATH since so many currently in this administration refuse to do so. What are Bush and Cheney and then, of course Mr., formerly of the administration, Karl Rove so afraid of happening?

    May 30, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  22. Munya Munos

    For serving dishonorably in the most dishonorable White House in U.S. history, McClellan has done the most honorable thing!

    May 30, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  23. Brad Gilbert

    Has anyone else noticed that all the criticism of McClellan is personal. Nobody has come out and said that he lied. Nobody has refuted any of his claims. Nobody has said that his claims never happened. Funny that, isn't it? Back when Woodward and Bernstein uncovered Watergate they sat in Ben Bradlee's office and railed about "non-denial denials" from the Nixon administration. McClellan is telling the truth, and they "can't handle the truth."

    May 30, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  24. James

    McClellan keep up your good work. Keep saying the truth to clear your conscience.

    May 30, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  25. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I guess Bob Dole's way of thinking about McClellan's book is just like that saying about Vegas "What happens in the White House stays in the White House". Dole sounds like a miserable creature, I wonder why.

    May 30, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
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