Contextual Content

McClellan’s opening statement

Story Transcript

SCOTT MCCLELLAN, FORMER WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN: Writing this book was not easy for me to do. These are my words, my experiences, and my conclusions. I sought to take a clear-eyed look at events. To do so, I had to remove my partisan lens and step back from the White House bubble. Some of the conclusions I came to were different from those I would have embraced at the outset. My book reflects the only idea of loyalty that I believe is appropriate in a democratic government, and that is loyalty to the ideals of candor, transparency, and integrity, and indeed to the constitutional system itself. Too often in Washington, people mistakenly think that loyalty to an individual officer should override loyalty to basic ideals. This false loyalty is not only mistaken, but can exercise a corrupt influence on government. I’m here because in my heart I’m a public servant who, like many Americans, wants to improve the way Washington governs and does not want to see future administrations repeat the mistakes this White House made. I do not know whether a crime was committed by any of the administration officials who revealed Valerie Plame’s identity to reporters, nor do I know if there was an attempt by any person or persons to engage in a cover-up in the investigation. I do know that it was wrong to reveal her identity, because it compromised the effectiveness of a covert official for political reasons. I regret that I played a role, however unintentionally, in relaying false information to the public about it.

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