"Stonewall" McClellan

How do you know when the White House is on the defensive? A good hint is when Scott McClellan manages to make it through an entire press briefing without saying a single word of substance. If you were one of the priviledged few that was able to watch yesterdays White House press briefing you may have been wondering if you had been transported back in time to the Clinton administration since the media for once put away their stenographers pens and put a pile of pressure on McClellan.

Last week I commented on the fact that Karl Rove was named as a possible leaker in the Valerie Plame case. Since then it has been revealed that Rove was indeed a source of the leak, talking to Matt Cooper about her identity.

Robert Luskin, Rove’s attorney, acknowledged over the weekend that his client had discussed the subject — without naming Plame — with Cooper, one of the two reporters threatened with jail time for not cooperating with Fitzgerald.

What I find interesting is that during the briefing McClellan took the position that the White House has some policy of not speaking about ongoing investigations. The full text of the briefing can be found here courtesy of ThinkProgress. What is simply appalling is that McClellan seems to have only adopted this “no comment” position since Rove was implicated, as you can see here he had no qualms about discussing this issue in the past. This says to me that the White House is in code red damage control mode, particularly because of the following statement McClellan made back in October of 2003 when he was apparently not so tight lipped about the Plame investigation.

Q — responsible for this. But can you confirm that the President would fire anyone on his staff found to have leaked classified information?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think I made that very clear last week. The topic came up, and I said that if anyone in this administration was responsible for the leaking of classified information, they would no longer work in this administration. This is a very serious matter. The President made it very clear just a short time ago in the East Room, and he has always said that leaking of classified information is a serious matter. And that’s why he wants to get to the bottom of this. And the sooner we get to the bottom of it, the better.

‘Nuff said.

UPDATE: I thought it was worth pointing everyone to this video from Crooks and Liars of Tim Russert on the Today Show this morning stating the obvious.

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