That damn White House has been hiding the gaggle transcripts from me. Little Scottie has held full-blown press briefings twice this week, but so far they’ve only made a video of the Monday briefing available at whitehouse.gov.
But today I did a little sleuthing and found the transcript to yesterday’s session.
First up, Little Scottie’s in full non-denial denial mode when asked if Porter Goss was scolded by the Chimp:
Q Can you say that the President is unhappy with the bad publicity that’s been coming out of the CIA in the last few days?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think you can say the President has great confidence in Director Goss and his leadership. He has great confidence in his ability to address some of the issues that you’re pointing to. We also have great confidence in the men and women who work at the CIA and the job that they do every day, 24 hours a day, to protect the American people. And, you know, I think anytime you have a new Director, there will be change.
And I might point out, too, that we are also in a period where we are moving forward — continuing to move forward on a number of reforms. The President, as you are aware, has taken a number of steps since September 11th to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to protect the American people. Part of that has been intelligence reform. The President appointed an independent executive branch commission to look at our intelligence capabilities relating to weapons of mass destruction. He also is working very closely with Congress to pass intelligence reforms that builds upon our efforts. And Director Goss is someone who is committed to reform. With reform comes change, and I think that should be expected.
Q So the description that the President “scolded” his CIA Director for the bad publicity coming out of the CIA in the last few days, would that be an accurate representation?
MR. McCLELLAN: I don’t know who is making that suggestion, but I don’t think that they have an idea of what’s going on.
Q So you’re saying, no, he didn’t scold him, Scott?
MR. McCLELLAN: No. Go ahead.
Q Wait, do you want to finish that? Do you want to finish with John?
MR. McCLELLAN: I don’t know where that’s coming from. I certainly have not heard anything of that nature.
Q Then are you saying, no, he didn’t scold him?
MR. McCLELLAN: That’s what I just said, John. I have no idea where that’s coming from. [Classic non-denial denial, a thing of beauty to the gaggle-obsessed.]
Q Okay. I just wanted to hear the answer.
Next, a question that I imagine must have been asked by Russell Mokhiber, a gaggler who also haappens to be editor of the Corporate Crime Reporter:
Q And, also, among these listening sessions the President is planning to have — today it’s with CEOs — does the administration also have plans for the President to meet with organized labor or with environmental groups?
MR. McCLELLAN: We will always keep you posted of his meetings, but he meets with a diverse group of people from across the spectrum from time to time. So we’ll keep you posted on any of those. I don’t know why you’re lumping it all together.
Sounds like the Cheney Energy Task Force all over again.