Friday, November 11, 2005

White House Stands by 'Not Accurate' Quote in Dispute

By Joe Strupp

Published: November 09, 2005 11:30 PM ET


NEW YORK Presidential Press Secretary Scott McClellan's short answer to a question at his daily press briefing last week has prompted a dispute between the White House press office and two news organizations that offer transcripts of the events.

A spokeswoman for McClellan's office told E&P late Wednesday that the White House is standing by its version of what he said.

At the Oct. 31 briefing, David Gregory of NBC News stated the following question to McClellan about White House aides Karl Rove and I. Lewis Libby: "Whether there's a question of legality, we know for a fact that there was involvement. We know that Karl Rove, based on what he and his lawyer have said, did have a conversation about somebody who Patrick Fitzgerald said was a covert officer of the Central Intelligence Agency. We know that Scooter Libby also had conversations."

The official White House transcript states that McClellan's response was "I don’t think that's accurate."

But two outside news agencies, Congressional Quarterly and Federal News Service -- which provide transcripts for a fee -- both reported the response as "that's accurate."

The differing accounts have sparked a flurry of buzz on numerous blogs, such as ThinkProgress, Wonkette, Eschaton and DailyKos. They say a video of the press briefing reveals McClellan saying "that's accurate."

White House officials contacted the news outlets and ask for a change to their versions of the transcript.

continued

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