Friday, May 30, 2008

Transcript: Scott McClellan Interviewed by Keith Olbermann

McClellan took his bombshell book tour to Countdown to be interviewed by Keith Olbermann. Read the complete Transcript:

OLBERMANN: That's a good way to start.

That phrase, “you have since come to realize that some of those statements were badly misguided.” Not to put words in your mouth or insult you, but did you lie as White House press secretary at any point?

MCCLELLAN: Well, I did when it came to the issue of the Valerie Plame leak episode when I—unknowingly did so. I passed along false information. I had been given assurances by Karl Rove and Scooter Libby that they were not involved in the leak. And it turned out later that they were, but they both unequivocally told me, when I asked them, were you involved in this is any way? They said, no.

[...]OLBERMANN: I want to get, as I was saying, back to the entire Plamegate or Plame/Libby story, or Plame/Libby/Cheney story. But as I suggested in the opening here, this—to me, in reading, so far, about half of this book, it seems it is the Rosetta Stone for understanding the last seven years of American history.

I would like to drop you in and out of key moments in that time.

And—tell me what really happened and what you saw.

And I want to start more or less chronologically on 9/11, not 9/11 per se but 9/12, the day afterwards, the days afterwards. Did the president see this as much as a disaster? Did he see it as an opportunity do you think?

MCCLELLAN: The September 11 attacks?


MCCLELLAN: Well certainly he saw it as an opportunity to look at the war on terror in broad way and to try to implement this idealistic vision that he had of spreading democracy throughout the Middle East. I think that's what you're getting to.

OLBERMANN: Yes. In the sense that it was to some degree used—


OLBERMANN: What happened after 9/11 was used in this country?

MCCLELLAN: Well certainly it was to advance the Iraq policy.