On May 29, 2003, President Bush said “We found the weapons of mass destruction. We found biological laboratories.” This morning the Washington Post revealed that a Pentagon field report transmitted to Washington on May 27, 2003 “had already concluded that the trailers had nothing to do with biological weapons.”
Today during the White House press briefing, Scott McClellan demanded a public apology from the news media for covering the story:
You know, I saw some reporting talking about how this latest revelation — which is not something that is new; this is all old information that’s being rehashed — was an embarrassment for the White House. No, it’s an embarrassment for the media that is out there reporting this.
I brought up with some of you earlier today some of the reporting that was based of this Washington Post report. And I talked to one of network about it…they expressed their apologies to the White House.
I hope they will go and publicly apologize on the air about the statements that were made, because I think it is important given that they had made those statements in front of all their viewers. So we look forward to that happening as well.
McClellan’s complaint is that the Washington Post and others suggest that President Bush may have known about the report before he made definitive statements that the trailers were for the purpose of building biological weapons.
When McClellan was asked when the White House became aware of the Pentagon field report, however, McClellan couldn’t say. He told the press corps “I’m looking into that matter” but the answer was “not the point.”