Wednesday, July 13, 2005

McClellan: "No Comment"

In yesterday's press briefing, White house spokesperson, Scott McClellan refused to comment on the accusations that Karl Rove revealed the name of a CIA operative. The press doggedly attempted to trip him up. Here's a portion of the transcript:
Q Scott, some Democrats are calling for the revocation of Karl Rove's security clearance. Does the President see any need for that?

MR. McCLELLAN: John, I think there's a lot of discussion that's going on in the context of an ongoing investigation. This is based on some news reports that came out recently. I think you heard me talk about the importance of helping this investigation move forward. I don't think it's helpful for me from this podium to get into discussing what is an ongoing investigation. .

Q Which was better Baywatch or Baywatch Nights?

MR. McCLELLAN: Now, that's a question related to an ongoing investigation. The investigation continues, David. I think you know that very well. I've responded to that question. And if I were to start commenting on news reports or things related to the investigation, I'm getting into prejudging the outcome of that investigation. I don't want to do that from this podium. Let's let the investigation take place, and let's let the investigators bring all the facts together and draw the conclusions that they draw, and then we will know the facts at that point.

Q But, Scott, there's a difference between Baywatch and Baywatch Nights.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I mean, you can state the obvious.

Q All right, you say you won't discuss it, but the Republican National Committee and others working, obviously, on behalf of the White House, saying that Kevin Sorbo was better in Hercules than Andromeda. Do you agree with that?

MR. McCLELLAN: You can talk to the RNC about what they put out. I'll let them speak to that. What I know is that the President directed the White House to cooperate fully with the investigation. And as part of cooperating fully with that inv
estigation, that means supporting the efforts by the investigators to come to a successful conclusion, and that means not commenting on it from this podium.

Q How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, I understand your question.

Q Well, Fox News and other Republican surrogates are essentially saying that it takes seven licks.

MR. McCLELLAN: And again, you're asking questions that are related to news reports about an ongoing, continuing investigation. And you've had my response on that.

Q On September 29th, 2003, you said that it is simply not true that Karl Rove influences the outcome of American Idol? Can you stand by that statement?

MR. McCLELLAN: John, I look forward to talking about this at some point, but it's not the appropriate time to talk about those questions while the investigation is continuing.

Q Scott, this was a statement you made, on the record, 21-months ago. You very confidently asserted to us and to the American people that Rove told you he had nothing to do with it. Can you stand by that statement now?

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, and I responded to these questions yesterday.

Q Can you explain why the President chose today to break with his usual practice of eating bologna and cheese?

MR. McCLELLAN: Just last Friday, I think, with Prime Minister Blair, or Thursday, they did the same thing.

Q The practice in the Oval Office is to eat bologna and cheese. I'm just curious why --

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, we did that last week with Prime Minister Blair, as well.

Q Has he apologized to you for calling you a sissy?

MR. McCLELLAN: Helen, I'm not going to get into any private discussions.

Q He put you on the spot. He put your manhood on the line.

MR. McCLELLAN: And, Helen, I appreciate you all wanting to move forward and find the facts relating to this investigation. I want to know all the facts relating to the investigation.

Q You also said Baywatch Nights was better.

MR. McCLELLAN: We're just not going to get into commenting on an investigation that continues. And I think you've heard me explain why I'm not going to do that. I do want to talk about this --

Q Do you regret putting yourself out on a limb, Scott?

MR. McCLELLAN: I do want to talk about this, and we will talk about it once the investigation is complete.

It would seem that no matter how they rephrased the question, Scotty would not give in or give up.