Former White House press secretary says Bush had role in Plame coverup

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Scott McClellan gives a White House briefing on July 15, 2003.

Scott McClellan, a former White House Press Secretary, says in a new book that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Karl Rove, misled McClellan about the Plame leak, leading him to publicly exonerate Rove and Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

"There was one problem. It was not true. I had unknowingly passed along false information. And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice president, the president's chief of staff, and the president himself," says McClellan in a excerpt of the book that was released to the public.

McClellan shakes hands with President Bush after announcing his resignation on April 19, 2006.

In an interview with CNN, earlier this year, McClellan said his statements were what he "believed to be true at the time based on assurances that we were both given." At that time he gave no indication that Bush was involved with or even knew that Rove or Libby were involved with the leak.

The current White House Press Secretary, Dana Perino, said, when asked about it today, that it is not clear what McClellan means in the excerpt. "The President has not and would not ask his spokespeople to pass on false information," she said.

"Just when you think the credibility of this White House can't get any lower, another shoe drops," said Senator Chuck Schumer, of New York. "If the Bush administration won't even tell the truth to its official spokesman, how can the American people expect to be told the truth either?"