The Associated Press gathered up White House spokesman Scott McClellan’s statements about the CIA leak. “On the record” can be a beautiful thing sometimes. As I understand it, government press conferences are public domain, so I’m including the quotes here:
Sept. 29, 2003
Q: You said this morning, quote, “The president knows that Karl Rove wasn’t involved.” How does he know that?
A: Well, I’ve made it very clear that it was a ridiculous suggestion in the first place. … I’ve said that it’s not true. … And I have spoken with Karl Rove.
Q: It doesn’t take much for the president to ask a senior official working for him, to just lay the question out for a few people and end this controversy today.
A: Do you have specific information to bring to our attention? … Are we supposed to chase down every anonymous report in the newspaper? We’d spend all our time doing that.”
Q: When you talked to Mr. Rove, did you discuss, “Did you ever have this information?”
A: I’ve made it very clear, he was not involved, that there’s no truth to the suggestion that he was.
Oct. 7, 2003
Q: You have said that you personally went to Scooter Libby (Vice President
Dick Cheney’s chief of staff), Karl Rove and Elliott Abrams (National Security Council official) to ask them if they were the leakers. Is that what happened? Why did you do that? And can you describe the conversations you had with them? What was the question you asked?
A: Unfortunately, in Washington, D.C., at a time like this there are a lot of rumors and innuendo. There are unsubstantiated accusations that are made. And that’s exactly what happened in the case of these three individuals. They are good individuals. They are important members of our White House team. And that’s why I spoke with them, so that I could come back to you and say that they were not involved. I had no doubt with that in the beginning, but I like to check my information to make sure it’s accurate before I report back to you, and that’s exactly what I did.
Oct. 10, 2003
Q: Earlier this week you told us that neither Karl Rove, Elliot Abrams nor Lewis Libby disclosed any classified information with regard to the leak. I wondered if you could tell us more specifically whether any of them told any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA?
A: I spoke with those individuals, as I pointed out, and those individuals assured me they were not involved in this. And that’s where it stands.
Q: So none of them told any reporter that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA?
A: They assured me that they were not involved in this.
Q: They were not involved in what?
A: The leaking of classified information.
July 11, 2005
Q: Do you want to retract your statement that Rove, Karl Rove, was not involved in the Valerie Plame expose?
A: I appreciate the question. This is an ongoing investigation at this point. The president directed the White House to cooperate fully with the investigation, and as part of cooperating fully with the investigation, that means we’re not going to be commenting on it while it is ongoing.
Q: But Rove has apparently commented, through his lawyer, that he was definitely involved.
A: You’re asking me to comment on an ongoing investigation.
Q: I’m saying, why did you stand there and say he was not involved?
A: Again, while there is an ongoing investigation, I’m not going to be commenting on it nor is … .
Q: Any remorse?
A: Nor is the White House, because the president wanted us to cooperate fully with the investigation, and that’s what we’re doing.