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Scottie & Me - White House Briefing - October 6, 2003
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 Scottie & Me
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Published on Monday, October 6, 2003 by
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Scottie & Me
(formerly known as Ari & I)
White House Press Briefing with Scott McClellan
Monday, October 6, 2003 - 12:30 PM
by Russell Mokhiber

Mokhiber: Two things, Scott.

One, House Republicans, led by Duncan Hunter, believe that the Defense Department has become too dependent on foreign suppliers who may cut off needed material in a crisis. Hunter has introduced a "buy American" provision to the Defense Authorization Bill. The President opposes this. Why?

Scott McClellan: Well, I think that you need to refer that question to Department of Defense. Those are decisions that the Department of Defense makes.

Mokhiber: No, the President --

Scott McClellan: We look to our military leaders to make those decisions.

Mokhiber: The President has --

Scott McClellan: I'll have to look at the specific provision you're talking about. But if it's in our statement of administration policy, then there you have it. But on matters like that, we will talk to the Department of Defense about it.

Mokhiber: Second thing. Newsweek is reporting this week that Karl Rove told "Hardball" host Chris Matthews that Wilson's wife was, "fair game."

Scott McClellan: I think there is a different response in that article, as well. But, look, the subject of this investigation --

Mokhiber: Did he say that?

Scott McClellan: Let's talk about this. The subject of this investigation is whether someone leaked classified information. That's what this is about. And there are some that are trying -- some that see this as a political opportunity to attack the White House, and so they're talking about all sorts of other issues. The issue here is a very serious matter, and it needs to be pursued to the fullest, and we want to get to the bottom of it. The President expects everyone in his administration to adhere to the highest standards of conduct. That is the tone he has set in his administration. That is the tone he has set here in Washington, D.C. And if someone leaked classified information, we want to know, and appropriate action should be taken against that person.

Mokhiber: Okay, but did Karl Rove tell Chris Matthews --

Scott McClellan: Again, no --

Mokhiber: -- it was fair game?

Scott McClellan: Now we're trying to talk about other issues. The subject of this investigation --

Mokhiber: Why can't we talk about that issue?

Scott McClellan: -- the subject of this investigation is, did someone leak classified information? And I addressed this very issue, it came up. If people differ with our views, that's fine, let's have a debate about that, let's have a good, honest debate about it. But the subject of this investigation -- no one wants to get to the bottom of it more than the President of the United States. And that's why we're pushing -- that's why we're making it very clear to the White House that we want to cooperate fully in this investigation. And the President -

Mokhiber: But I know what the subject of the investigation is - but wait, wait -



-Thanks to Russell Mokhiber

White House reporter Russell Mokhiber is the editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime Reporter - He co-authors the weekly Focus on the Corporation column with Robert Weissman which Common Dreams publishes. He can be reached at:


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