Says Bush Didn't Know He Was Lying When He Told Scotty Rove Was Not Involved
By Jon Ponder on 11/21/2007, 2:16pm PT  

Guest blogged by Jon Ponder, Pensito Review.

Yesterday we reported that in an excerpt from his upcoming book on his years as Bush's press spokesman, Scott McClellan wrote that, in 2003, when he exonerated Scooter Libby and Karl Rove of any involvement in the leak of the secret identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson, he had unknowingly lied. "And five of the highest ranking officials in the administration were involved in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice president, the President's chief of staff, and the president himself."

Today, predictably, McClellan's publisher is trying neuturalize McClellan's claim that Bush was in on the conspiracy to deceive:

Peter Osnos of PublicAffairs, told MSNBC that Mr. McClellan "did not intend to suggest Bush lied to him" about two senior aides’ roles in leaking the identity of Valerie Plame Wilson, a C.I.A. operative, to the conservative columnist Robert Novak and others in 2003.

Right. Except that is precisely what he wrote in the excerpt. Here's how Osnos squares the circle:

"[Bush] told him something that wasn’t true," Osnos told Bloomberg News, "but the president didn’t know it wasn’t true," And: "The president told him what he thought to be the case."