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. Mark Baker

    The Bush Administration is done for. Over. Finished. See you in Hague.

    Say No to McCain

    May 30, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  2. Gary Chandler in Canada

    Cinton – Independent ; VP – McClellan!!! 08
    (humor allowed in here?)

    May 30, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  3. La Raza

    This will be devastating for the Bush cabinet and Republicans. I admire him for doing what's right and honorable.

    May 30, 2008 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  4. MD

    15 munites of fame should not be that important for you to bite the hand that fed you.

    You have no morality. YOU KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON. You should have either left then, or spoken up then, but definitely not now.

    I think you should stop making matters worse, and keep your trap shut.

    May 30, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  5. ..

    Glad the truth finally comes out

    May 30, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  6. TyWebb

    Great Scott! He better get some body armor...

    May 30, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  7. Sissy2004

    Why is it so hard to believe that like all humans we make choices in life that we are not proud of and sometimes we find it hard to live with. I think that is what happened with Scott. His heart was heavy and he started to think of the crying mothers and fathers who had lost their children in a war that he felt was misleading and very deceiving. I believe he felt responsible to a certain point and wanted to make things right with the American people, himself and his maker. Why are the republicans so mad? Is it because they themselves have no conscious or heart, or maybe they are lead by greed, and loyallty to a man who wanted fame (Bush) on the blood and heartache of American soldiers and their families... Just sad... I commend you Scott for standing up against bullies.

    May 30, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. Zanfito, Atlanta, Georgia

    I'm not shocked to hear Mr. McClellan. He appears to be truthful and genuinely shaken by the way he's been deceived by a person he trusted, Mr. Bush.
    Mr. McClellan, we all knew this and sorry for thinking you meant to deceive us all. We now know you...
    The question is:"Where do we go, now?" We probably wished this was not true, but we have confirmation that the president, himself, committed a felony by authorizing to the cover of a secret agent... The highest office in the land is held by a felon... What message does it send to the american people if no action is taken?

    May 30, 2008 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  9. Grateful

    Mr. McClellan, the American people would LOVE to hear about the most corrupt adminstration in modern US history.

    We thank you for being so brave!!!

    May 30, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  10. SavannaDon

    It does not surprise me to find out that the Bush White House would be involved in a culture of "yes men"...it just took one man to have the guts to come forward, as he should.

    Bob Dole can call him whatever he wants, but the fact is that this is history and should be made public...it's no news to the public, just conformation of the terrible things that can go wrong in a country headed by a dictator, which is also why we have separate but "equal" branches of government.

    May 30, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  11. Dylan

    Good for you, Americans and the rest of the world deserve to hear the truth about the retched administration that has been in power 8 years too long. From Canada, thank you.

    May 30, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  12. DJ, LA, CA

    Good...he should. That will officially clear the air and put him under oath that his comments were true.

    Too bad the White House is petrified and rightfully so and will ban him from any testimony according to their legal counsel.

    Though Richard Clarke, Paul O'Neil, CIA director Tenent and all the others that said similar things about the most corrupt administration in history...I'm sure could take his place.

    May 30, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  13. Rachelle

    Why do people act as though they're shocked over this. We all have known that this administration was corrupt from the very start with the 2000 elections. It was confirmed time and time again as the years past; from 9/11 through Katrina and still today with the misleading so called surge that we (the US citizens and Chana) are paying for to cease retaliations against us. Come on America wake up before it's too late!!!!

    May 30, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  14. Don Nienhaus

    Scott McClellan is the most despicable, miserable person, and
    definitely disillusioned character since James Dean ! A disloyal
    employee who should have resigned or quit, if he didn't like the job
    or people in the government, yet he stayed for three years, three
    whole years !!! What a turncoat of our government and truely not
    being in many of the meetings, a true turncoat to many, as a employee who could not be trusted as an employee of all that worked
    in the the same Government !!!! Just to be a turncoat for Book deals
    and make lots of Dollars !! I sure hope he gets enough out of the
    money to have betrayed everyone !! Also, that he can look in the
    mirror at himself !!!! A real traitor !!!!

    Don
    ===================================================

    May 30, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  15. Hillary 08, the electable candidate

    Is this surprising... He already sold his sole to the devil!

    Hillary 08

    May 30, 2008 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  16. Francis Kansas City

    My question to you is this; why will you wait until you have a book to sale before you come forward with these allegations. As much as I would like to believe you, I regretably think you are serving a selfish purpose.

    May 30, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  17. Alan Felix

    Woo Hoo! Get him up there.

    May 30, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  18. Word on street

    Let the show begin...

    Not a good thing for McCain to endure but will be music to Obama Campaign and bolster his judgement on Iraq war....

    May 30, 2008 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  19. Nia

    ...which more then they can say for Rove, who should be locked by not but some how or another he isn't

    May 30, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  20. Ray

    Ouch!! That must hurt!!

    May 30, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  21. Gerry

    Looks like he's telling the truth to me.

    Maybe it's time to suponea GW Bush and John McCain and see if they'll finally tell the truth.

    May 30, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  22. FreshAir

    ROCK IT!

    May 30, 2008 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  23. Val

    McClellan IS A PIG. Now he is hinting at supporting Obama. Good for him – we don't need this weasel in the Republican party. Obama can have him any day – the disloyal piece of shmack.

    May 30, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  24. douglasdao

    McClellan is a plausible witness. Everyone knew he was lying when he was the White House Spokesperson, everyone knew it was his JOB to lie.

    May 30, 2008 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  25. Frosty

    The truth hurts. We need people like McClellan in both parties. People in Washington have forgotten who they're are serving. Their only loyalty is to the American people...but that has been forgotten long ago. Loyalty to Bill Clinton...Judas if you disagree. Miserable creature if you're loyal to the American people but not George Bush. I think we deserve better than this.

    May 30, 2008 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
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