Washington, DC — Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid today released the following statement after the revelation that President Bush may have personally authorized the selective leaking of classified information to sell the war in Iraq, directly contradicting his previous statements to the American people that he knew nothing of the leak.
A fact check of President Bush is attached below.
“In light of today’s shocking revelation, President Bush must fully disclose his participation in the selective leaking of classified information. The American people must know the truth.”
WHITE HOUSE LEAK CASE: NOW & THEN
Today the White House’s credibility suffered yet another blow. After repeatedly denying any involvement in the leak of the identity of an undercover CIA officer, new court filings assert that the President was involved with authorizing the now indicted Scooter Libby to disclose classified information to reporters as part of a politically motivated effort to tarnish its critics. It’s time for the President to come clean about his involvement in the leak case.
NOW: Americans Learn That the President Authorized Libby’s Disclosure of Classified Information to Judith Miller. According to the Government’s filing in the Libby Case, “Defendant’s participation in a critical conversation with Judith Miller on July 8 (discussed further below) occurred only after the Vice President advised defendant that the President specifically had authorized defendant to disclose certain information in the NIE. Defendant testified that the circumstances of his conversation with reporter Miller – getting approval from the President through the Vice President to discuss material that would be classified but for that approval – were unique in his recollection. . . . During the conversations that followed on July 12, defendant discussed Ms. Wilson’s employment with both Matthew Cooper (for the first time) and Judith Miller (for the third time).” [Government’s Response to Defendant’s Third Motion to Compel Discovery, United States v. I. Lewis Libby, 04/05/06]
THEN: The President Denied All Knowledge of the Leak
President Bush: “I don’t know of anybody in my administration who leaked classified information. If somebody did leak classified information, I’d like to know it, and we’ll take the appropriate action.” [Chicago, Illinois, 9/30/03]
President Bush: “Yes. Let me just say something about leaks in Washington. There are too many leaks of classified information in Washington. There’s leaks at the executive branch; there’s leaks in the legislative branch. There’s just too many leaks. And if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is. And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of. . . . I have told our administration, people in my administration to be fully cooperative. I want to know the truth. If anybody has got any information inside our administration or outside our administration, it would be helpful if they came forward with the information so we can find out whether or not these allegations are true and get on about the business.” [Chicago, Illinois, 9/30/03]
President Bush: “I’d like to know if somebody in my White House did leak sensitive information.” [10/28/03]
President Bush: Responding to media question referring to “anybody who leaked the agent’s [Valerie Plame’s] name,” and the question, “Do you stand by your pledge to fire anyone found to have done so?” the President responded: “Yes. And that’s up to the U.S. Attorney to find the facts.” [Press Conference, Savannah, Georgia, 6/10/04]
President Bush: “I want to know the truth. … I have no idea whether we’ll find out who the leaker is, partially because, in all due respect to your profession, you do a very good job of protecting the leakers.” [Fox News, 10/8/03]
President Bush: “If someone committed crime, they will no longer work in my administration.” [USA Today, 7/18/05]
Scott McClellan: “The President has set high standards, the highest of standards for people in his administration. He’s made it very clear to people in his administration that he expects them to adhere to the highest standards of conduct. If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration.” [White House Press Briefing, 9/29/03]
Scott McClellan: “Let me answer what the President has said. I speak for the President and I’ll talk to you about what he wants . . .If someone leaked classified information, the President wants to know. If someone in this administration leaked classified information, they will no longer be a part of this administration, because that’s not the way this White House operates, that’s not the way this President expects people in his administration to conduct their business.” [White House Press Briefing, 10/7/03]