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= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/30/art.mac.cnn.jpg 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. Jane

    Personally, I think Scott is a hero!

    May 30, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    CNN please post,

    Why Is McClellan being treated like a criminal when he is the one going to bring out the truth about our so-called patriotic president and his clan of idiots. McClellan should be championed. Come on Dems out there where are your balls! Finally someone tells the truth. Maybe freedom of speech will be respected again in this country.

    May 30, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  3. G from the A

    Stay away from planes, NRA meetings long walks in the woods with Dick Cheney .....

    May 30, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. Robert

    Good for McCellan. I have heard all the people saying he should have spoken up when it was going on or quit. Maybe so but I believe in redemption and if he came to it late, at least he came to it. Now, if Pelosi and Reid just have had half the guts and started impeachment, this country would be back on the track.

    May 30, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  5. Perfecto!

    Scott, you are a TRUE American HERO and a PATRIOT!!! We ALL SUPPORT YOU!!

    May 30, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  6. Dana

    Bush and Cheney need to be tried for War Crimes

    May 30, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  7. chris

    It's a great day when the truth gets out. If we didn't live in a free society people like McClellan would probably be killed off, just like they do to reporters that go to far in Russia.
    I think this is a great opportunity to learn more about what happened behind the scenes. 🙂

    May 30, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  8. Truth comes out

    McClellan is the only one with a conscious that's why this is happening.

    May 30, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  9. James , Houston, TX.

    McClellan should be quesstioned about 9/11 . Was 9/11 self inflicted (contract with the Saudis) as a provocation for the Iraqi Invasion?

    May 30, 2008 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  10. c

    God bless you.

    May 30, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  11. Darren M.

    This is the beginning of crimal war crime charges being brought against the Bush administration. McClellan is gonna get up there and sing like Frank Sinatra

    "Start spreadin' the news...."

    May 30, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  12. Paris

    You make me sick Scott.

    CNN stop wasting time on this opportunist, greedy, unstable joke.
    It is amazing that you are interviewing this clown on a daily bases repeating the same bogus statements.
    If this is not biased programming I don’t know what is?

    Scott at least tell us what was your price? How much did you sell yourself for?

    May 30, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  13. Stacy

    Scott is pitiful. He was not privy to the inner circle of information and now apparently needs cash. If Bush was “mislead” by the intel, then so was Clinton, Tony Blair, and George Tenet.

    I hope Scott enjoys his 15 minutes of fame (or shame) because he’s going to be on the crap list of everyone he’s ever known after this. Give me a break!

    May 30, 2008 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  14. Jason, Texas

    GO MC! I mean, he just said what we all knew. I wish they would have impeached Bush and Cheney a long time ago!

    May 30, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  15. Sid - California

    This is a good sign and best for the public who is often blinded with the reality behind close doors. Yes good in a way that who ever is making decissions that effect the lives of Americans should have this in the back of thier minds in the future. There may be a McClellan in thier team.
    Loyalty does not mean hiding the facts.

    May 30, 2008 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  16. Nick

    Scott McClellan has only confirmed what we have known for years. As for Bob Dulls comment, he is a fine one to talk about miserable creatures.

    May 30, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  17. Tony

    I applaud his courage to stand up against the white house and for what he felt he has done wrong to the American People. I only hope that he testifies soon, so that Bush would become impeached. Granted he already has a terrible impression upon the American people of today, but he should not be remember as one of the 15 presidents to serve full two terms. He should live with the same legacy of Nixon, a conspiring president brought up on impeachment trials.

    May 30, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  18. Spider

    Wow!!!!
    I sure hope this guy makes a lot of money on this book, because his political career is over. Most of his personal friends have turned away from him. Regardless if it's the truth or not, this guy is in it for the money. Gave up everything else in life for the possibility.

    May 30, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  19. Dane

    Scott McClellan to testify?

    Do we remember what happened to the DC Madam?

    Suicide-yeah right-that was a hit to protect politicians. Anyone who follows this stuff knows it.

    May 30, 2008 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  20. Politically Incorrect

    Of course Republicans are gonna blast him!!.. They are all very loyal to one another.. But in my opinion they all need to get their head our their As#$s and realize it's not about Party, it's not about loyalty, it's not about power, or greed, (shouldn't be anyway), race, sex, gender, it's about the AMERICAN people who live and have come to this country trying to live the AMERICAN DREAM as the greatest country on earth!!!...

    They are gonna do what they have to, to discredit him and make him look dishonest, but i believe the guy!!, thought that way anyway, and even think the ppl in the White House believe him and know he's right, but wanna save their political butts and back the Prez, which is admirable, and i'm not sure i wouldn't do the same thing..!!!

    But there's a bigger point here.. and it's the American PPL and uncovering the Veil of secretism that has ppl doubting and not believing in the govt. that is supposed to be for the People By the People!!!

    May 30, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  21. amtFresno,CA

    I am glad he came out with the book. I believe what he writes in this book. He could not come out before, he would have of coarse been fired, so he had to waite until he felt like it would not hurt him. I am just glad he did it, it re-enforces what we all thought anyway. I don't think Dole should be talking about any "miserable creature" unless he is addressing the issue of ED.

    May 30, 2008 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  22. Anne

    Boy, the media is trying to crucify McClellan. If the book was a negative book about Clinton or Obama, the media would be chomping at the bit and not asking questions that are really trying to paint McClellan in a better light.

    I don't expect CNN to post this, however, I thought I would give it a try anyway.

    CNN, and especially old Wolf Blitzer are trying to help McCain. I believe old Blitzer is a very good friend to the Traitorous Lieberman.

    May 30, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  23. Preston

    I think it's important we know the truth and he gets to testify.

    And the next President and congress can bring the criminals of the past eight years to justice. Which may include Bush and Cheney.

    May 30, 2008 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  24. D.

    You are not a miserable creature. You are an American with a right to write truth.

    May 30, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  25. james

    This administration came up with his intelligence convincing everyone that iraq had WMD, was a threat to our safety, got congress to vote for the war, now more than 4000 dead soldiers later we find out they made this whole thing up.

    Looks like an impeachment is on the way

    go for it.

    May 30, 2008 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
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