Another bad day for Scott McClellan

The morning gaggle gives him more quality time with the suddenly aggressive White House press corps.

Published July 12, 2005 4:29PM (EDT)

Things aren't getting much easier for Scott McClellan. The White House press secretary was reunited at this morning's press gaggle with some of the reporters who lit into him at yesterday's briefing, and the story picked up pretty much where it left off.

Salon's David Paul Kuhn was at the White House this morning, and he reports that the press once again grilled McClellan about Karl Rove's involvement in the Plame case -- and that McClellan, once again, refused to say anything of substance about it. When Rove's name came up, McClellan "retreated immediately to the defensive, to his talking points, wiggling his back foot nervously behind the podium," Kuhn tells War Room. At one point, Kuhn says, Helen Thomas mumbled loudly, "He doesn't even express confidence in a top senior adviser." Kuhn says that McClellan was "visibly bothered" by the comment but didn't respond to it.

And what could he say, really? When a reporter asked yesterday whether Bush continues to "have confidence in Mr. Rove," McClellan's response was a non sequitur return to his talking points: "Again, these are all questions coming up in the context of an ongoing criminal investigation. And you've heard my response on this."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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