<$NoAd$>'What did he know and when did he know it,' just took on a whole new meaning (and difficulty).
From the latest gaggledÃ¤mmerung ...
QUESTION: Scott, the President's father, as CIA director, when he was dedicating the CIA, said at the time that outing an operative is like one of the most insidious treasons.
MR. McCLELLAN: And the President has essentially said something to that effect, as well. For a long time.
QUESTION: Okay. So why, two-and-a-half months ago when this became public, what would have kept the President then from going to his inner circle and directly asking each and every one of them whether they were the source?
McCLELLAN: How many anonymous sources make all sorts of allegations in the paper on a regular basis?
QUESTION: This isn't a routine allegation.
MR. McCLELLAN: Do you have specific information that suggests --
QUESTION: I know you're trying to turn this back on --
MR. McCLELLAN: No, no, no, I'm not trying to turn it back. I'm trying to say that we should look at the facts, that if there's specific information that you have -- I mean, all we know at this point is they're anonymous sources. And it was not a White House name.
QUESTION: I know, but the fact that the name --
MR. McCLELLAN: Are we supposed to go throughout the entire administration?
QUESTION: No, but as you said yourself --
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, no, but are we supposed to, every time there's an allegation in the paper, are we supposed to go pursue that throughout the administration?
QUESTION: Anyone within your administration that would have access to classified information, right, could have known this. What kept the President, two-and-a-half months ago, from asking his staff --
MR. McCLELLAN: I don't know that anyone who has access to classified information could have -- I would direct that question to justice or CIA about the people that would have access to classified information of this nature.
QUESTION: Why did the President sit on his hands two-and-a-half-months ago and not ask his staff?
MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry, I answered this question very clearly at the time that it came up, and you need to go back and look at what I said then.
QUESTION: But where was the outrage?
QUESTION: The President often says he gets his news not from reading the papers or watching TV, but from aides because he's very busy. Do you know if this was brought to his attention? Was he aware of this on July 14th or 15th, or in that time frame, either by reading it himself, or was it brought to his attention? I'm not asking you whether he said anything should do anything about it, but was he aware of this in a timely window --
MR. McCLELLAN: On July 14th?
QUESTION: When the Novak column came out, which I believe was July 14th. It was within that time frame.
MR. McCLELLAN: Call my predecessor. No --
QUESTION: Within a couple of days of that.
MR. McCLELLAN: John, I haven't even asked that question.
QUESTION: Scott, it seems like a good question to ask.
MR. McCLELLAN: I'm sorry?
QUESTION: That would be a good one if you can take it.
QUESTION: It's probably worth following up on.
QUESTION: When did he become aware of this?
MR. McCLELLAN: Sorry?
QUESTION: When did he become aware that --
MR. McCLELLAN: That there was an allegation that someone leaked classified information? When was that first --
QUESTION: No, no, that an undercover official of the United States government had been outed. When did the President of the United States know that? When was he informed of that? And what was his reaction? Where's the outrage, I think, was the question that was asked.
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, the outrage has always been made known. If someone leaks classified information -- are you -- when did --
QUESTION: When did the President know it, and what did he do about it?
MR. McCLELLAN: When did someone make the allegation that this -- that someone had leaked classified information?
QUESTION: On July 14th or 15th, it was clear that --
MR. McCLELLAN: I'll look back at the timing and post the information --
QUESTION: -- that the American taxpayer had invested a lot of money in the undercover status of a woman who had been outed in the newspaper. What did the President know that and what did he do about it?
MR. McCLELLAN: I'll look back at some of this and try to get some information for you.
QUESTION: Scott, can you have something about how he was informed at that time while you're doing that?
MR. McCLELLAN: I will look back at that time. Some of it was before I became the press secretary, but I will look back at some of this time.
The outrage has always been made known ...