A great moment from today’s White House press briefing. It’s great to see White House reporters working in concert to at least try to get the truth out.
Q Why does Karl Rove still have security clearance and access to classified documents when he has been revealed as a leaker of a secret agent, according to Time magazine’s correspondent?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, there is an investigation that continues, and I think the President has made it clear that we’re not going to prejudge the outcome of that investigation.
Q You already have the truth.
MR. McCLELLAN: We’re not going to prejudge the outcome of that investigation through —
Q Does he have access to security documents?
MR. McCLELLAN: — through media reports. And these questions came up over the last week —
Q Did he leak the name of a CIA agent?
MR. McCLELLAN: As I was trying to tell you, these questions have been answered.
Q No, they haven’t.
Q Let me ask —
MR. McCLELLAN: Go ahead, David.
Q And they most certainly haven’t. I think Helen is right, and the people watching us know that. And related to that, there are now–
MR. McCLELLAN: Let me correct the record. We’ve said for quite some time that this was an ongoing investigation, and that we weren’t going to comment on it, so let me just correct the record.
Q If you want to make the record clear, then you also did make comments when a criminal investigation was underway, you saw fit to provide Karl Rove with a blanket statement of absolution. And that turned out to be no longer accurate —
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, and there were preferences expressed by those overseeing the investigation that we refrain from commenting on it while they’re continuing to look at — investigate it.
Q White House officials have been very clear through their attorneys or through other leaks to make it known that it was essentially journalists who educated them about who Valerie Plame was, what she did, and her role in sending her husband to Niger. It has now come to light that in fact White House officials were aware, or at least had access to a State Department memo that the President’s own Secretary of State at the time had with him when he was traveling on Air Force One to Africa, which indicated both who she was, what she did, and her role in the Niger trip. So did the White House, in fact, know about her through this memo, or not?
MR. McCLELLAN: I thank you for wanting to proceed ahead with the investigation from this room, but I think that the appropriate place for that to happen is through those who are overseeing the investigation. The President directed us to cooperate fully, and that’s exactly what we have been doing and continue to do.
Q But you don’t deny that attorneys for Rove and others in the White House are speaking about these matters, creating a lot of these questions, right, that you say you can’t speak to?
MR. McCLELLAN: As I said, we’re not getting into talking about an ongoing investigation. That’s what the President indicated, as well.