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. Ed from Milwaukee(WI-Swing state)

    I guess the chickens are coming home to roost after all, McClellan having a change of heart. Better to get it off his chest now, then to die with no honor. Maybe he will join the left of the party now.

    May 30, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  2. judy

    Dole is calling McClellan a miserable creature,,,, Dole defends the worst creature, Bush!
    I am proud someone is finally speaking truth to power!

    May 30, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  3. KateLynn

    Time to get to the bottom of the Bush-Cheney-Rove administrative abyss of ethics!

    May 30, 2008 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  4. Nimesh Patel, Antioch, Ca

    Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.
    Henry David Thoreau
    US Transcendentalist author (1817 – 1862)

    I am proud of Scott for educating the people of our country ....People deserve the truth.

    May 30, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  5. random comment

    oh wow.

    Disgruntled former employee much?

    Makes me really wonder what's been going on in the White House the last 7.5 years...

    May 30, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  6. Terrence (Winston Salem, NC)

    I don't think I've ever been so happy to hear a rat squeal. Thanks, Mc. Also, I don't know why all the uproar is about. Bush and the Repubs act like we didn't already know he was full of crap. It's just good to hear one of them finally admit it.

    May 30, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  7. Jim Thrash in Alaska

    Scott McClellan, as all other non-essential pundits, have the luxury of taking a couple of years to make their decisions, and change their minds if they like. The president has to make his decisions "right now" and pray that they are the right ones. The whole world reacts to what the president of the United States says. No one reacts to what Scott McClellan, Obama, or Clinton say. They can say what they want; what the voters want to hear; and let the president take the heat. Most of President Bush's decisions are right on target because his philosophy and core thinking are correct. I just hope and pray that our next president is just as quick to decide, and that his/her decisions stand the test of time.

    May 30, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  8. skunkrat The Marine

    Dope Head George, Condi, Quick Draw Dick, Dirt Bag Rove, Donald RumFool and some of you other CRIMINALS, might be going to jail. I wish they could take John McSame with them.

    May 30, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |

    from his perspective? i wonder who told him what perspective that was. He is a sorry excuse for a man, My bet is he likes obama, all traitors/haters do!!


    May 30, 2008 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  10. Fired Up

    Obama supporter? Of course. Everybody supports Obama. Why? Because we need lower gas prices and also to be able to afford college for our children.

    May 30, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  11. The Austrian

    Ugh... it's one thing to genuinely want to expose Bush for his crimes that justice might be done on DC, but it's another to do it for the sake of being a celebrity and getting a few $$$.

    The man tells the truth, sure, but he does it for the wrong reasons.

    May 30, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. sky

    This has all the makings of a Tom Clancy novel.

    May 30, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. Me

    Keep your chin up Scott. Remeber people have died because of this admins deception and policys. It does not get any worse than that. What you a facing and going thru pale in comparision. Please testify people need to be help accountable for what they have done.

    May 30, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. Eldon

    Thank you Scott McClellan. Hopefully more people will speak up and tell the truth.

    May 30, 2008 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. Boris

    Don't anybody listen to the message. It might spoil your pristine little minds.

    Let's just shoot the messenger instead, like we did with all the other ones! U.S.A.!! U.S.A.!!! U. S. A.!!!!!!

    May 30, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  16. Less, Austin Tx

    You go McClellan. Testify to All on the so called "Bush Administration".

    We deserve the truth to be told – and they deserve to have to sit back and watch as their empire of corruption crumbles.

    Obama '08

    May 30, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  17. history repeats

    its so funny that these republicans are calling him names and saying he did it for money. bush's approval rating is an all time presidential low, people with half a brain can tell the country was bamboozeled into this war and now this book backs it up and all the conservative/republicans can do is whine and cry about it. its so funny that you people that support this distorted veiw cant see ANY corruption in this multi-billion dollar spending administration. they dont think there is any corruption involved with cheney and how he owns stock in defense contractor companies like haliburton before and after the war, which he reaped millions off of. but they will be the first to call mclellan corrupt. they will be the first to say this guy is lying in his book about the facts. i am so happy these people will not be deciding who the next president of the united states is. finally some decency might be able to come back into this government. i hope obama or hillary overhauls the whole thing!!

    May 30, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  18. Don Nienhaus

    Scott McClellan is the two-faced, turncoat of the bigest, miserable
    creature, MOLE

    May 30, 2008 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  19. Sean


    I once loathed you for being a Bush spokesman, but you have redeemed yourself as a TRUE American. You are exactly what this country needs right now and I hope others come forward to back your claims. Anyone who criticizes you for releasing this information is in denial of the truth. Don't let Bush censor you. Enjoy the book sales and reviews. Thank you.


    May 30, 2008 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  20. AZM

    “There are things we did right and things we did wrong. I think the american people see that I do regret that I didn't realize some of the things I did then.”

    And you can read about all of them for only $29.95... now at Amazon...

    Wink Wink....

    May 30, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  21. gingergirl1

    I'm just an ordinary citizen and am not involved in politics. But, anyone can see that this creep, is out to make some quick money. I will not waste my time reading his book. I hope that Judas, enjoys his money.
    I, totally agree with Dole, he is a miserable creature.

    May 30, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  22. Dave in Houston

    The funniest thing about this whole McClellan book is that all of the right-wingers are all lacking one major element in their denunciations:


    They all belittle the man, but not a single one challenges any of the facts that McClellan presents. It's what they are not say that speaks volumes.

    May 30, 2008 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  23. Pedeen

    Testify under oath and we will start taking you seriously!!

    May 30, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  24. Don Bryan, Charlotte NC

    I praise your willingness and ability to open to the public the truth abouth this administration. I implore you to continue with every and any disclosure possible, in any manner, that can and will lead to the consequences deserved by everyone at every level that has, and consequentially will have, devastating effects on this Nation and every American for years to come. I am confident it took a lot of soul searching and great personal and professional difficulty to come to the decision, process and result(s) that you have achieved. Don't hold back. Get the others, as I am confident there are, to join you.
    Don Bryan, Master Sergeant, U. S. Marine Corps, Retired

    May 30, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  25. Seth

    To ANYONE who honestly thinks this guy is making things up:

    are you nuts, too? After all the lies and propaganda that Bush & Co. has put out there, we are surprised by this?

    May 30, 2008 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
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