Saturday, July 16, 2005

You Can't Make This Stuff Up ...

File this under the "Republicans have their cake and eat it, too" department:

Q Does the President believe it's appropriate for the RNC to continue to weigh in on this matter? They put out another memo today, with a top-10 Joseph Wilson lies. If indeed it's an ongoing investigation and it's improper for the White House to discuss it, does he think it's proper for the Republican Party to weigh in on it?

SCOTT McCLELLAN: You know, Geoff, I appreciate the question, and as you heard me say yesterday, we are not going to prejudge the outcome of the investigation based on media reports. And I'm not going to get into --

Q What about the RNC, though, Scott?

McCLELLAN: No, I said, I'm not going to get into discussing matters relating to an ongoing investigation. We'll let the investigation come to a conclusion, and then I'll be more than happy to talk about it, as will the President.

-- White House press briefing, July 14


What else can White House Press Secretary McClellan decide is "relating to an ongoing investigation?"

The Republican National Committee weighs in on the investigation, trying to change the discussion from White House leaks to Joe Wilson's "lies" -- even though RNC Chair Ken Mehlman is resorting to "distortions and falsehoods" to do so.

The White House, of course, has a rooting interest in what Mehlman is doing. And what the RNC does in reaction to the news isn't related to the investigation, just as what Democrats say isn't related to the investigation. If someone in the press corps wants to ask, for example, about a "fact sheet" circulated by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) discussing whether Rove violated his obligations under his "Classified Information Nondisclosure Agreement," McClellan should be able to answer -- without giving his official "answer."

McClellan, I realize, is probably following the advice of White House counsel to keep his mouth shut, to avoid making statements that can later be used against him. He knows the press corps is only going to ask so many questions "relating to an ongoing investigation" before they realize that McClellan is a) stonewalling; b) going to turn to a questioner for a new topic; c) wishing that J.D. Guckert were still available to bail him out of tough situations.


Blogger Gindy said...

There is nothing wrong with the RNC trying to bring facts or non-facts to light. I fully expect the DNC to do the same. The White House and the RNC are two different organizations with two different jobs and responsibilites.

12:01 PM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

Gindy, you miss the point (or you make JABBS point for him).

If the RNC and the White House are separate organizations, then McClellan shouldn't be able to hide behind the "relating to an ongoing investigation" defense.

1:01 PM  
Blogger Gindy said...

Maybe I am misunderstanding. But doesn't McClellan represent the White House and not the RNC. Therefore, he should be able to hide behind that reason (or excuse, depending upon point of view).

3:09 PM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

Exactly. The RNC is separate from the White House, so McClellan should not be allowed to hide behind the defense that comments by the RNC somehow are "relating to an ongoing investigation."

That's why the article was posted.

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is not why the article was posted. The author would have one believe that if the White House should not comment on this, then neither should the Republican party. And kind of like with the smart ass asides in regards to the radio address, he thought a couple more pokes at McClellan would be fun. Why was the reporter not asking if it was appropriate for the DNC to continue to comment on it, or are only Republicans not allowed to speak to these issues?

5:12 PM  
Anonymous alias: "cutiepie" johnson said...

Are you kidding, or do you just not understand the post.

McClellan said he would not comment on something the RNC was doing -- which absolution has no relation to the ongoing investigation.

That's the point -- that McClellan was relying on a defense he shouldn't be allowed to use, but nonetheless got away with.

The fact that the RNC (or the DNC) has an opinion really has very little to do with the point.

8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy Moses! The defenses conservatives bring up for Rove not commenting on the RNC's actions is only another way they can distract attention away from Rove's outing of a covert CIA agent.
Check out the latest Republican spin on the controversy on Wilson said on a recent talk show that his wife Plame was no longer clandestine because she was outed by the columnist. The Republican lie being echoed by several right-wing media commentators today is that he said his wife was not clandestine at the time she was outed.

4:40 PM  

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