McClellan Walks Back Denial of NY Daily News Story

As we reported earlier, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan disputed the New York Daily News article reporting that Bush knew about the leak two years ago by saying the White House disputed its “overall accuracy.” McClellan was asked about the story again in the on-camera White House press briefing, and here’s what he said:

QUESTION: Scott, did the president talk to Karl Rove two years ago about the leak?

MCCLELLAN: I appreciate the question. That’s a question relating to an ongoing investigation, and I’m just not going to have further comment while that investigation is under way.

McClellan would not even go as far as simply reaffirming his denial of the accuracy of the story:

QUESTION: … you could say it’s true or not true.

MCCLELLAN: No. As you have known for some time now, we’ve been saying that, while this is an ongoing investigation, what we’re going to do from the White House is cooperate fully with that investigation and let the special prosecutor do his work. We’re not going to speculate or prejudge the outcome.

If McClellan could deny the accuracy of the Daily News story in the morning gaggle, why couldn’t he do so in the briefing? Does the White House now agree with the story that Bush knew Rove was a leaker two years ago?