In a forthcoming memoir that’s sure to be controversial, former White House press secretary Scott McClellan says President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Karl Rove were “involved" in his giving the press false information about the Valerie Plame CIA leak case.
McClellan’s publisher PublicAffairs released three paragraphs from the book “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and What’s Wrong With Washington,” which is set for publication in April.
“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 seniormost aides in the White House: Karl Rove and Scooter Libby,” McClellan writes. “There was one problem. It was not true.”
McClellan, who resigned in April 2006, also writes: “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."
White House sources have long said that Rove and I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, the vice president’s chief of staff, allowed McClellan to suggest repeatedly that they had no involvement in the publication of the name of CIA operative Plame, wife of Iraq war critic Joseph Wilson, The Politico reports.
Later testimony showed that they did, although neither was the original source of the leak of classified information.
Libby was convicted last March on charges of obstruction of justice and perjury in his grand jury testimony regarding when and how he learned that Plame was a CIA agent.
He was sentenced to 30 months in jail, but President Bush commuted his sentence.
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