Little Scottie took another well-deserved beating in today’s gaggle. Here’s my nominee for Most Bizarre Answer of the Day:
Q But, Scott, there’s a difference between what’s legal and what’s right. Is what Karl Rove did right?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I mean, you can state the obvious. I understand and appreciate that, and I appreciate you all. I know you all want to get to the bottom of this. I want to get to the bottom of it; the President has said no one wants to get to the bottom of it more than he does. We want to see it come to a successful conclusion. The best way to help the investigation come to a successful conclusion is for me not to get into discussing it from this podium. I don’t think that —
Q Well, wait, wait, wait —
MR. McCLELLAN: Wait — I don’t think that helps advance the investigation.
My guess is the gaggler who asked this question is not Carl Cameron or Wendel Goler*.
Q Well, Fox News and other Republican surrogates are essentially saying that the conversation lasted for two minutes and that the subject was ostensibly welfare reform. They’re getting that information from here, from Karl Rove.
MR. McCLELLAN: And again, you’re asking questions that are related to news reports about an ongoing, continuing investigation. And you’ve had my response on that.
[*Carl and Wendel are the gaggle’s resident Fox News assclowns. Watch Scottie reach out to Carl for a lifeline below in your Daily Les.]
Ah, sweet Helen. Where have you been for the past few weeks? How I have missed you.
Q Has he apologized to you for telling you he is not involved?
MR. McCLELLAN: Helen, I’m not going to get into any private discussions.
Q He put you on the spot. He put your credibility on the line.
MR. McCLELLAN: And, Helen, I appreciate you all wanting to move forward and find the facts relating to this investigation. I want to know all the facts relating to the investigation.
Q You people are on the record, one quote after another.
MR. McCLELLAN: The President wants to get to the bottom of it. And it’s just not appropriate. If you’ll remember back two years ago, or almost two years ago, I did draw a line and I said, we’re just not going to get into commenting on —
Q You also made comments in defending Mr. Rove.
MR. McCLELLAN: We’re just not going to get into commenting on an investigation that continues. And I think you’ve heard me explain why I’m not going to do that. I do want to talk about this —
Q Do you regret putting yourself out on a limb, Scott?
MR. McCLELLAN: I do want to talk about this, and we will talk about it once the investigation is complete.
Q Do you regret what you said in 2003?
MR. McCLELLAN: Go ahead.
The LA Times’ Ed
Chin Chen delivers a blow to Scottie’s chin(s).
Q Does the White House have a credibility problem?
MR. McCLELLAN: Ed, these are all questions that you’re bringing up in the context of an investigation that is ongoing —
Q I’m not asking about that.
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, it’s clear that this is coming up in the context of news —
Q We could talk about WMDs, a whole range of issues.
Now we’re getting personal.
Q So I understand your reluctance to talk. Now, Mr. Rove’s attorney, Mr. Luskin, spoke to reporters a few days ago. Would you be willing to allow your attorney to speak to reporters about these matters?
MR. McCLELLAN: Next question. I’m not going to get into discussing the investigation at this point.
Q Scott, back on — to turn it back, the President has confidence in everyone who works for him —
MR. McCLELLAN: You’re making an assumption that I wouldn’t make either. So — go ahead.
Q That you have an attorney?
MR. McCLELLAN: Go ahead.
And finally, in today’s edition of your Daily Les, Kinsolving leads off with one of his pattented non-sequitors but it all leads back to Rove.
Q Does the President believe that it is outrageous for a Los Angeles advertising man to be conducting a campaign to persuade the town selectmen of Weare, New Hampshire, to approve the building of a hotel on the land where Justice Souter’s house is located? Or does he regard this as an historic irony resulting from Souter’s vote in the case of Kelo versus the City of New London —
MR. McCLELLAN: I haven’t seen anything on it. Jim, go ahead.
Q You didn’t see anything on it? You’d like to evade this one, wouldn’t you.
MR. McCLELLAN: No, I haven’t seen anything on it, Les. I like to see reports before I comment on it.
Q No, it’s the other ones he’s trying to evade.
Q — on why you can’t answer Ed’s question about whether — generally speaking, whether the administration has a credibility problem. I think a lot of people are tuning in, wondering, can we trust what this White House says, can we trust what Scott McClellan says.
MR. McCLELLAN: Yes.
Q I’m not talking about the case. Can you just address — do you feel like there’s a credibility problem?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think you all in this room know me very well. And you know the type of person that I am. You, and many others in this room, have dealt with me for quite some time. The President is a very straightforward and plainspoken person, and I’m someone who believes in dealing in a very straightforward way with you all, as well, and that’s what I’ve worked to do.
Go ahead, Carl.