I wonder if Scott McClellan and his publisher expected the selection from McClellan's new book to create such a stir. You would think so. Here's the bit that's causing alarm. It's in reference to the ex-Press Secretary's denials of White House involvement in outing CIA agent Valerie Plame:
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.
It sounds like he's saying those high ranking officials - including the highest, the President - knew McClellan was speaking an untruth. Democrats are grabbing onto the implication. In a statement, Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT) calls on the new Attorney General, Michael Mukasey, to investigate:
Today's revelations by Mr. McClellan are very disturbing and raise several important questions that need to be answered. If in fact the President of the United of States knowingly instructed his chief spokesman to mislead the American people, there can be no more fundamental betrayal of the public trust.
During his confirmation process, Attorney General Mukasey said he would act independently. Accordingly, today, I call on the Attorney General to live up to his word and launch an immediate investigation to determine the facts of this case, the extent of any cover up and determine what the President knew and when he knew it.
The President should immediately come forward and explain any action taken by him or his administration to mislead the American public. The American people deserve the truth. President Bush himself said that he would take action against anyone who leaked the name of an American agent. Far from punishing anyone, it appears from McClellan's account that the President himself was "involved" in spreading false information. That is outrageous.
We'll see if it's just more Democratic bloviating. Maybe the White House will be held accountable for outing a covert CIA agent working on nuclear proliferation issues. Probably not, though.