McClellan: I Became What I Wanted to Change

SCOTT McCLELLAN: Actually, I, I took note of it then, I took note of it then. Um, it was an interesting thing. And it was very understandable, for that issue. Uh, that, that he would take that approach. That was something that I, I didn't hold anything against him on that particular issue. But what I found out later, at times, I mean, you might remember well, one time after I left, during the, uh, issue over Iran pursuing nuclear weapons, and it came out that the NIE, uh, the President had been talking about, uh, Iran pursuing nuclear weapons, when the National Intelligence Estimate had come out prior to that time, saying, well, they had suspended their program. And in that press conference, uh, the President was asked about it, I don't know, you may have been the reporter that asked about it, and he, he said he didn't remember when, uh, he was briefed about that National Intelligence Estimate. Um, you know, I, I, I think that that was probably a matter of political convenience there, that is very reflective of what I talk about in that early chapter you just referenced.

MARTHA RADDATZ: Okay. What, when- I want you to go back, and I know, and I know you don't want to get too reflective on this, but I think this is simply the hardest thing for people to understand- how you walked out of that White House, after serving the President loyally, after talking about things that you now think you didn't really believe, and changed. And, and if you will tell us, did you sit down at your desk? Did you, did you struggle with this? How did you change so much, and how did you- you, you weren't having conversations with people, it was all you?

SCOTT McCLELLAN: Well, no, I, no, I- I wouldn't say I wasn't having conversations with people. I was, uh, you know, giving speeches, you know, answering questions, and, you know, I'd left the White House...

MARTHA RADDATZ: During, during those speeches, were you talking about...

SCOTT McCLELLAN: ...I'd left the White House...

MARTHA RADDATZ: ...The things you talk about in the book?

SCOTT McCLELLAN: Well, uh, no...

MARTHA RADDATZ: Or were you positive about the White House.

SCOTT McCLELLAN: When you first leave the White House, I think you still have your, your partisan hat on, and, and, and it's hard to kind of step back from the party line. But at- the further and further you get away from the White House, uh, I hope, uh, this is the case for other people, you're able to step back,and look back on your time there, and reflect on it, uh, in a, in a very honest way, with yourself. And try to find out what you can learn from it, and then what you can share with others. Um, and in the book, you know, I take the readers very much behind the scenes of at the White House. They can -- what I was thinking at the time, and then, I go through, uh, and talk about how, looking back on that, uh, what I feel now. Um, it, it's not always the same. Uh, but that's how you learn and grow, and that's how, uh, we are able to change things for the better in Washington, hopefully.

MARTHA RADDATZ: When you hear what Dan Bartlett is saying, what Ari Fleischer, uh, I, I think Ari Fleischer said he was just heartbroken, by reading what you wrote. Dan Bartlett- I mean, they all were saying fairly similar things about you...

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