Gregory: Do you stand by your statements from the Fall of 2003, when you were asked specifically about Karl and Elliot Abrams and Scooter Libby and you've said I've gone to each of those gentleman and they've told me---they are not involved in this, do you stand by that statement?
McClellan: And if you will recall, I said as that part of helping the investigators to move forward on the investigation, we're not going to get into commenting on it. That was something I stated back near that time as well.
Gregory: I mean this is ridiculous. The notion that you're going to stand before us after having commented with that level of detail and tell people that are watching this that somehow you decided not to talk. You've got a public record out there. Do you stand by your remarks from that podium or not?
McClellan: David, I'm well aware of, like you of what was previously said and I will be glad to talk about it at the appropriate time...
The most powerful leader in the world had called upon me to speak on his behalf and help restore credibility he lost amid the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So 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.
There was one problem. It was not true.
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.