Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden:

Scottie may be a short-timer, but there’s no way he’s going to give a straight answer to any question about Karl Rove.

Q Scott, Karl Rove is making his fifth appearance in front of the grand jury today. And I’m wondering how you would characterize its effect on the administration? Is it a disruption, a distraction?

MR. McCLELLAN: Jim, I have no new information on that matter, and even if I did have new information, I wouldn’t be in position to share it with you, as you know.

Q We have confirmation that he’s making his appearance, so I’m just wondering if you can tell me, not in any kind of judicial way, but if you can tell me just in terms of its effect on the business of the administration?

MR. McCLELLAN: No, as you know, there’s a policy we have in this administration. That policy hasn’t changed. Does anyone else have questions on this topic matter?

Q Yes, Scott, I’ll jump in on that one. I think the question is just if you can give us a comment, just the daily workings and whether this —

MR. McCLELLAN: No, my answer is what I just — my answer is what I just gave you. This administration remains focused on the priorities of the American people.

Go ahead.


Q Would you mind my going back to Rove for just one brief moment? Had Mr. Rove alerted Josh Bolten prior to his decision to change Rove’s duties here at the White House —

MR. McCLELLAN: He already answered that. I told you I didn’t have any new information on it.

Q My question is had he notified him of today’s appearance prior to the change in his duties?

MR. McCLELLAN: That decision was made based on what I told you all previously.


Q Going back to Karl Rove, was the decision made it was potentially too embarrassing to keep him in the position of the policy portfolio, as well as the politics portfolio, and that that was why he was moved out of it — knowing that these grand jury appearances and what might follow was coming up?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, first of all, he remains very involved in the policy aspect of things. I have made that very clear. And the reasons why the decision was made, in terms of now having three deputy chiefs of staff, as opposed to previously, when we had two, were for the reasons that I talked to you about on that very day.

The gaggle continues, Read More…

From Holden:

Oh, here’s a fine question about Chimpy’s latest empty threat.

Q Just to follow up on the question — how did the administration plan to combat the perception that it’s against spending more to support the troops?

More classic Scottie stonewalling.

Q The Washington Post reported on Sunday that according to intelligence officials the White House has recently been asking the CIA questions about the political affiliations of some of its senior intelligence officers. Has the CIA been complying with the White House’s requests?

MR. McCLELLAN: I don’t know anything about that report. Maybe I missed it when we were in California.

What difference will Pony Blow make?

Q Nancy Pelosi says that having Tony Snow now behind the podium there is not going to make much difference. What would you say to that?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think Tony Snow is going to do a great job for the President. I saw him earlier today, and looked up at him and told him, “I used to be your height before I started in this position.” (Laughter.)

Q We’ll do that for him.

And no, Your Daily Les.

Q The fact that Tony Snow is now, as I understand it, a talk radio host, means that the President —

MR. McCLELLAN: You were not considered, Les. (Laughter.)

Q — recognizes that talk radio is, along with the Internet, America’s new major media thrust, replacing most newspapers and old liberal TV and magazines, doesn’t it? (Laughter.)

MR. McCLELLAN: I think it’s healthy to have a diversity of viewpoints from within the media.