Update: For those arriving by search click here to see my post on David Gregory’s apology with link from there.
Partial transcript of today’s White House Press Briefing…
White House transcript here.
Gregory: …and why it took so long to disclose it publically?
McClellan: Well I think what happened has been explained. The Vice President’s office talked about it. I’ve talked about it. And I represent the President, speak for him. The Vice President’s spokeswoman speaks for him as well. So that information has been provided. We went through this pretty thoroughly yesterday.
Gregory: Does the President think that the Vice President should actually speak about it himself, not through intermediaries?
McClellan: You talk to the Vice President on a fairly frequent basis in the past, and I’m sure you will in the future as well.
Gregory: But he shouldn’t really have to address it specifically?
McClellan: Well he has. Through his office.
Gregory: Ok, let me ask you this. Is the President concerned that the Vice President made decisions about the public disclosure of this incident that are clearly at odds with how you and others advising the President disclose personal information about the President’s activities?
McClellan: Let me just say this, because I sense that there’s some follow-up questions that you all have. First of all, I think we went through this pretty thoroughly yesterday and I worked to answer the questions to the best of ability in a forthright manner, based on the facts that I knew. There were some very legitimate questions that were asked. As I indicated, I always believe that you can look back and work to do better. I indicated that yesterday. I think today where we’re focusing our efforts, is on what are the most pressing priorities before the American people? That’s what we’re focusing on. I understand you still have some, if you want to continue to spend time on that, that’s fine, but we’re moving on to the priorities of the American people. That’s where our focus is.
Gregory: That’s clear and that’s your perogative. Now I’ve got my job to do which is try to get you to answer that question. Does the President think it’s appropriate for the Vice President to essentially make decisions at odds with the public disclosure process of this White House?
McClellan: Well, I think that I’ve expressed my views when we went through this yesterday. That’s what I was trying to… that’s what I was trying to indicate to you…
Gregory: Does the President have a view about how the Vice President’s conducted himself?
McClellan: Again, that’s what I’ve… I indicated to you yesterday what our views were. And we went throught this…
Gregory: I don’t recall you sharing the President’s view.
McClellan: Yeah, but can I finish responding? I am glad to answer your questions. I was very respectful. I was very respectful and responsive to you all…
Gregory: The Vice President basically decided on his own to not disclose this which is at odds with how you do business and how the President does business. Right?
McClellan: I don’t want to make this about anything other than what it is. It is what it is David. I was very respectful and responsive to your questions yesterday. I provided you the information that I knew based on the facts that were available. And we’ve been through this pretty thoroughly. And I’m just not…Wait, wait. I’m just not going to go back through it again. I’d appreciate if you’d let me respond fully before you jump in.
Gregory: All right, but, hold on one second. I’ve got one final question…
McClellan: Other people in this room have questions, and we’ve got an event coming up.
Gregory: I’m not getting answers here Scott and I’m trying to be forthright with you. But don’t tell me that you’re giving us complete answers when you’re not actually answering the question. Because everybody knows what is an answer and what is not an answer. And the final …
McClellan: David, now you want to make this about you. And it’s not about you, it’s about what happened and that’s what I’m trying to do…
Gregory: I’m sorry that you feel that way, but that’s not what I’m trying to do.
McClellan: And I’m trying to provide answers to the questions.
Gregory: One final question, since that one wasn’t answered. Is it appropriate for the Vice President to have waited 14 hours after the incident before he spoke with the law enforcement officials? And do you think that an average citizen would have been accorded that same amount of time before having to answer questions about a shooting incident?
McClellan: That is what was arranged with the local law enforcement authorities. You ought to ask them.
That was two questions for your final question Mr. Gregory…
Blogs for Bush caught a few bits that I missed – added in italics above.
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