Today on Holden’s Obsession with [Yesterday’s] Gaggle

From Holden:

Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor gloom of night shall prevent me from obsessing on the gaggle.

But a server outage… weeeeell, that might do it.

Yesterday brought us another blockbuster gaggle that began with NBCs David Gregory putting his foot so far up Scotrtie’s ass that each toe wore a miner’s helmet.

Q Scott, you know what, to make a general observation here, in a previous administration, if a press secretary had given the sort of answers you’ve just given in referring to the fact that everybody who works here enjoys the confidence of the President, Republicans would have hammered them as having a kind of legalistic and sleazy defense. I mean, the reality is that you’re parsing words, and you’ve been doing it for a few days now. So does the President think Karl Rove did something wrong, or doesn’t he?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, David, I’m not at all. I told you and the President told you earlier today that we don’t want to prejudge the outcome of an ongoing investigation. And I think we’ve been round and round on this for two days now.

Q Even if it wasn’t a crime? You know, there are those who believe that even if Karl Rove was trying to debunk bogus information, as Ken Mehlman suggested yesterday — perhaps speaking on behalf of the White House — that when you’re dealing with a covert operative, that a senior official of the government should be darn well sure that that person is not undercover, is not covert, before speaking about them in any way, shape, or form. Does the President agree with that or not?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, we’ve been round and round on this for a couple of days now. I don’t have anything to add to what I’ve said the previous two days.

Q That’s a different question, and it’s not round and round —

MR. McCLELLAN: You heard from the President earlier.

Q It has nothing to do with the investigation, Scott, and you know it.

MR. McCLELLAN: You heard from the President earlier today, and the President said he’s not —

Q That’s a dodge to my question. It has nothing to do with the investigation. Is it appropriate for a senior official to speak about a covert agent in any way, shape, or form without first finding out whether that person is working as a covert officer.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, first of all, you’re wrong. This is all relating to questions about an ongoing investigation, and I’ve been through this.

Q If I wanted to ask you about an ongoing investigation, I would ask you about the statute, and I’m not doing that.

MR. McCLELLAN: I think we’ve exhausted discussion on this the last couple of days.

Q You haven’t even scratched the surface.

Q It hasn’t started.

The gagglers want to know who told Scottie not to talk.

Q Scott, I’ve spoken to one person at least who says that when — after being interviewed by the special prosecutor was asked not to discuss subjects, the substance of their interview, but was free to talk about this investigation more broadly. So my question is, has the White House been asked by the special prosecutor not to talk about specific testimony, or to discuss nothing about this at all?

MR. McCLELLAN: These questions came up the last couple of days, and again —

Q But you haven’t been explicit. Did the special prosecutor say to the White House —

MR. McCLELLAN: Again —

Q — don’t discuss this?

MR. McCLELLAN: I want to help the investigation proceed and come to a successful conclusion. And the best way to do that, as I’ve said, not only the last couple of days, but going back nearly two years, is to not get into discussing the investigation from this podium, and those questions —

Q Because the prosecutor asked you not to?

MR. McCLELLAN: And those questions I’ve been through the last couple of days, this morning, and there’s really nothing to add. And I appreciate it, but we’ve exhausted this discussion, I think. And we need to let that investigation proceed.

We close as we always do with your Daily Les. Today we learn Les likes cartoons.

Q The Washington Times editorial page this morning published a cartoon comparing White House correspondents to sharks. My question, do you think that they were wrong to make this comparison? (Laughter.)

Q Go ahead, Scott, let her rip.

MR. McCLELLAN: I have a picture up in my office that everybody can look at.

Q We’ll allow you to comment.

MR. McCLELLAN: Go ahead, Olivier.

Q Two quick ones on Iran —

MR. McCLELLAN: It may not look like it, but there’s a little flesh that’s been taken out of me the past few days. (Laughter.)