Monday, July 18, 2005

More Evidence of the Tide Turning Against the Whitehouse

An Excerpt from Meet the Press (Courtesy of Al Roger's article, Melman CRUSHED Capitol Hill in Retreat, on the Daily Kos)

MR. RUSSERT: You say you have tremendous confidence in Pat Fitzgerald.


MR. RUSSERT: If, in fact, he indicts White House officials, will you accept that indictment and not fight it?

MR. MEHLMAN: First of all, I'm the chairman of the Republican National Committee. I'm not an attorney for anybody. The fact is I look forward to his getting to the bottom of this. I can't speak for...

MR. RUSSERT: But if he indicts White House officials...


MR. RUSSERT: ...will you pledge today, because you have tremendous confidence in him, that you will not criticize his decision?

MR. MEHLMAN: Again, I'm not going to speculate. I have tremendous confidence in him. I look to getting to the bottom of this. Whatever he does, I can assure you, people are going to follow and are going to look to abide by.

MR. PODESTA: Just say "yes," Ken.

MR. MEHLMAN: But I think it would be inappropriate for me as the RNC chairman to say what legal strategy people may take in the future.

MR. RUSSERT: But if you have tremendous confidence in him, then you will respect and accept his decision.

MR. MEHLMAN: I look forward to hearing what he has to say, and I intend to respect what he has to say, but, again, I'm not going to speculate on what he might do.

MR. PODESTA: Karl Rove sent Scott McClellan out in the White House, said, "I have nothing to do with it." So his credibility's in tatters, on a very important national security matter, and if you step back, I think, even
further, and say, "Well, what's this all about?," this is about the White House trying to defend its use of manipulation of intelligence material to get us into the war in Iraq.

Clearly, the one thing we know at the end of this week was that that was a lie. McClellan's credibility is in shreds. I think Mr. Rove's credibility is in shreds. He holds a senior-level national security position, Tim. You know, they kind of make him out to be just a political guy. He's the deputy chief of staff in charge of coordinating the National Security Council, the Homeland Security Council. He doesn't belong in the White House at this point.

MR. RUSSERT: He has, as you know, a security clearance. Do you believe he has violated that?

MR. PODESTA: I think that you read the applicable paragraph, from both the Executive Order 12958 and from this--and from the briefings that he got, which is that he had an affirmative obligation not to just repeat reporters.