Roves Attorney Lies About White House Briefings

CNN records the latest spin from Karl Rove’s attorney, Robert Luskin:

“He’s told everyone who’s asked him, including the federal prosecutor, that he’s not part of any scheme,” Luskin said.

He said that’s the allegation the president and White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan were commenting on when they received assurances from Rove that he did nothing wrong.

According to the transcripts, that’s not true. McClellan was not assured by Rove that he was “not part of any scheme.” McClellan was categorically assured by Rove that he wasn’t involved. Period. From the 9/29/03 briefing:

Q All right. Let me just follow up. You said this morning, “The President knows” that Karl Rove wasn’t involved. How does he know that?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I’ve made it very clear that it was a ridiculous suggestion in the first place. I saw some comments this morning from the person who made that suggestion, backing away from that. And I said it is simply not true. So, I mean, it’s public knowledge. I’ve said that it’s not true. And I have spoken with Karl Rove

There was more of the same at that morning’s press gaggle.

As Stephen Colbert notes, mainstream sources like CNN appear unwilling to fact check statements from people like Luskin because there is a “fear of looking too aggressive.” So it’s up to the Daily Show and blogs to sort out the spin from the truth.