McClellan's book draws criticism

May 29, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Life as an author is proving hectic for Scott McClellan. His effort to unmask what he calls deceit and incompetence in the Bush white house has drawn a hail of return fire from former colleagues.

That leaves President Bush's former press secretary defending a book that's not even in stores yet.

The political aftershocks of Scott McClellan's new book keep coming. After a chorus of former Bush white house officials rushed to the air waves to defend the administration, McClellan appeared on the Today Show this morning defending his book

"I think I'm disappointed that things didn't turn out the way we thought they would turn out. We had high hopes," said McClellan.

But now he says those hopes were destroyed by a permanent campaign culture in Washington and a presidency that he claims "veered badly off course." McClellan says it was the C.I.A. leak case that was the jumping off point of his book.

"By the last ten months or so of my time at the white house, I grew increasingly disillusioned by things, when the first revelation came out that what I had been told by Karl Rove and Scooter Libby, that they were in no way involved in the leaking of Valerie Plame's identity, which we now know is not true," said McClellan.

The white house dismisses McClellan as disgruntled and many of his former colleagues are questioning why he waited so long to speak up.

"This is heartbreaking to me. Anybody could do this in turn, degrees. Makes me wonder did Scott believe the things he said from the podium. Which Scott is the real one?" said Ari Fleischer, former white house press secretary.

McClellan's book isn't even on store shelves yet but the controversy has already pushed it to number one on Amazon.com's best seller list.


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