McClellan On Libby Verdict: White House Needs To ‘Get Out There And Talk About This’

Last night on Larry King Live, former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan echoed Joseph Wilson’s call for the Bush administration to finally come clean about their actions in the CIA leak case. “I would be advising the White House to get out there and find some way to talk about this,” McClellan said.

Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/03/mcclellanlkl.320.240.flv]

While serving in the White House, McClellan orchestrated the White House’s stonewall on the leak story. Time and again, he claimed he could not answer questions about “an ongoing investigation,” even when the questions were unrelated to the investigation.

McClellan claimed last night that Karl Rove and Scooter Libby had lied to him. “Knowing what I know today, I would have never said that back then,” McClellan said, referring to the assurance he gave the public that Rove and Libby were not involved.

McClellan didn’t talk about this quote, leaving it to the current Press Secretary to explain it:

If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said yesterday that the White House will continue its “principled stand” of not commenting on the leak issue.


MCCLELLAN: And I think, Larry, it will be interesting to see if the White House can sustain not talking about this through the appeals process. They sustained it for this long, but I think they would be better served as a communications advisor now. I would be advising the White House to get out there and find some way to talk about this in enough detail to answer some of questions that David brings up that are still hanging out there.

GERGEN: That’s really interesting, Larry, that he would have come to that position. That’s a very brave decision to take because I’m sure there are former colleagues of his who would like not to go down that path.

MCCLELLAN: Of course, the lawyer’s always the first to say it’s a legal matter. We’re not going to talk about it. But that’s not always the best advice from a communications standpoint, as David knows.