McClel­lan’s book

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

For­mer White House press sec­re­tary Scott McClel­lan says that Pres­i­dent Bush know­ingly al­lowed him to present “false in­for­ma­tion” about the Va­lerie Plame af­fair to the press, in a small ex­cerpt from his up­com­ing book that was re­leased on­line Nov. 20.

Mr. McClel­lan’s pub­lisher, Pub­lic Af­fairs Books, took the unique step of re­leas­ing just three para­graphs — 121 words in all — from “What Hap­pened: Inside the Bush White House and What’s Wrong with Wash­ing­ton.”

The book is not due to be re­leased un­til April.

But Mr. McClel­lan’s ex­plo­sive if some­what vague charge is sure to spark lots of in­ter­est and con­ver­sa­tion over the com­ing months.

The ex­cerpt never specif­i­cally says what the “false in­for­ma­tion” was, though it’s clear from the con­text that Mr. McClel­lan is re­fer­ring to the many as­ser­tions he made that no one in the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion had leaked the CIA agent’s name to the press.

“I stood at the White House brief­ing-room podium in front of the glare of the klieg lights for the bet­ter part of two weeks and pub­licly ex­on­er­ated two of the se­nior-most aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby,” Mr. McClel­lan writes.

“There was one prob­lem. It was not true,” he writes.

Mr. McClel­lan says in the quest to “re­store cred­i­bil­ity [Mr. Bush] lost amid the fail­ure to find weapons of mass de­struc­tion in Iraq,” the pres­i­dent and four of his top aides let the press sec­re­tary run with a lie.

“I had un­know­ingly passed along false in­for­ma­tion. 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,” Mr. McClel­lan writes.

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