McClellan: I Became What I Wanted to Change

MARTHA RADDATZ: So, so, a little bit more on your thought process. First of all, when you were in that briefing room. And, and let's stay on the war for a minute.


MARTHA RADDATZ: And, and you go in every day, and you say, you know, David's going to ask this, or Terry's going to ask this, or Martha's going to ask that, and how are we going to answer? Is it just a message?

SCOTT McCLELLAN: I'm sorry, when I, when I go in...?

MARTHA RADDATZ: Yes, when you're briefing...


MARTHA RADDATZ: ...And you go out there, and talking about the war, and you say, He's going to ask this, probably, she's going to ask this, probably...


MARTHA RADDATZ: ...And let's just stay on message. It's all about message.

SCOTT McCLELLAN: It's more about what the- it is part of the way the White House operated. When I was coming in to be Press Secretary, it was in July of 2003. Uh, just a few months after the initial invasion. And, you know, there was starting to be a realization the WMD might not, the weapons of mass destruction might not be found after all, or at least not at the stockpiles. Um, so I was coming in at a contentious time, during the controversy of the sixteen words. And, it was also just ahead of an election year. Uh, so Washington was moving into it, uh, to, into, its, uh, election year mode. Um, and I knew that the White House- I, I, I dedicated a whole chapter to becoming White House Press Secretary, where I struggled myself, whether or not this was the right position, to accept this position, because of the way the White House operated, knowing that I wasn't going to be able to probably change much.

Even on retrospect, I look back and think, now that I've learned from my experience, I would've wanted to change more. Uh, but when I was coming in, I was thirty-five years young, and I knew that no one at the White House wanted to change things just ahead of the election year. And I came in, said, you know, I was going to do this the way it had been done before.

MARTHA RADDATZ: Talk, talk more about your change, and what happened to you, when you left that White House- how you've done such a 180 on the, on the way out.

SCOTT McCLELLAN: Well, the, the book was a long process. Uh, you've written your own book, you know what it's like. It was, it was a long process, but, uh, uh, I wanted to make sure I got it right. Uh, I was, uh, late on a couple of initial deadlines, and I said, you know, we're not going to do this until I make sure that it's right. And I think I got it, uh, where I wanted it.

MARTHA RADDATZ: But, uh, what happened, in, in you, in your, in your heart, that changed you so much?

SCOTT McCLELLAN: Well, one...

MARTHA RADDATZ: I mean, this is the most loyal White House- that is what this White House is famous for- this incredible loyalty...

SCOTT McCLELLAN: And no one, no one questioned my loyalty to the President when I was there.

MARTHA RADDATZ: Well they sure are now.

SCOTT McCLELLAN: But my- well, but there's a higher level of loyalty. It's a loyalty to the truth, it's a loyalty to the values I was raised upon, which are, uh, speaking up, which are making a positive difference.Um, those are- I was born into a political family that...

MARTHA RADDATZ: But where were those during those seven years, if you think you were misleading?

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