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Gregory v. McClellan, Day 2

As the White House’s PR response to Saturday’s shooting continues to draw fire, David Gregory and Scott McClellan mixed it up again today, with McClellan charging (on camera this time) that Gregory was trying to make this all about him instead of about the incident.

The meat of the exchange:

MR. McCLELLAN: I don’t want to make this about anything other than what it is. It is what it is, David. I was very respectful and responsive to your questions yesterday. I provided you the information I knew based on the facts that were available, and we’ve been through this pretty thoroughly.

Q: You don’t have an answer to this question. All right, one final question.

MR. McCLELLAN: Wait, wait, I’m just not going to go back through it again. I’d appreciate it if you’d let me respond fully before you jump in.

Q: All right, but — well, hold on one second. I’ve got one final question.

MR. McCLELLAN: Other people in this room have questions, and we’ve got an event coming up.

Q: I understand that, but I’m not getting answers here, Scott, and I’m trying to be forthright with you, but don’t tell me that you’re giving us complete answers when you’re not actually answering the question, because everybody knows what is an answer and what is not an answer.

MR. McCLELLAN: David, now you want to make this about you, and it’s not about you, it’s about what happened. And that’s what I’m trying to –

Q: I’m sorry that you feel that way, but that’s not what I’m trying to do.

More after the jump.


MR. McCLELLAN: Let me just say this, since there’s some follow-up questions that you all have. First of all, I think we went through this pretty thoroughly yesterday and I worked to answer the questions to the best of my ability and in a forthright manner, based on the facts that I knew. There were some very legitimate questions that were asked. As I indicated, I always believe that you can look back and work to do better. I indicated that yesterday. I think today what we’re focusing our efforts is on what are the most pressing priorities before the American people. And that’s where we’re focusing. I understand you still have some –

Q That’s fine, and that’s appropriate.

MR. McCLELLAN: If you want to continue to spend time on that, that’s fine. We’re moving on to the priorities of the American people. That’s where our focus is.

Q That’s fair, and that’s your prerogative, and I’ve got my job to do, which is, try to get you to answer that question. Does the President think it’s appropriate for the Vice President to essentially make decisions at odds with the public disclosure process of this White House?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think that I’ve expressed my views, and we went through this yesterday.

Q But that’s a non-answer.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, that’s what I was trying to indicate to you –

Q Does the President have a view about how the Vice President has conducted himself?

MR. McCLELLAN: Again, that’s what I — I indicated to you yesterday what our views were.

Q No, I don’t recall you sharing the President’s view.

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, but can I finish responding? I’m glad to answer your questions.

Q You didn’t answer that question. It was very respectful –

MR. McCLELLAN: I was very respectful and responsive to you all –

Q The Vice President basically decided on his own to not disclose this, which is at odds with how you do business and how the President does business, right?

MR. McCLELLAN: I don’t want to make this about anything other than what it is. It is what it is, David. I was very respectful and responsive to your questions yesterday. I provided you the information I knew based on the facts that were available, and we’ve been through this pretty thoroughly.

Q You don’t have an answer to this question. All right, one final question.

MR. McCLELLAN: Wait, wait, I’m just not going to go back through it again. I’d appreciate it if you’d let me respond fully before you jump in.

Q All right, but — well, hold on one second. I’ve got one final question.

MR. McCLELLAN: Other people in this room have questions, and we’ve got an event coming up.

Q I understand that, but I’m not getting answers here, Scott, and I’m trying to be forthright with you, but don’t tell me that you’re giving us complete answers when you’re not actually answering the question, because everybody knows what is an answer and what is not an answer.

MR. McCLELLAN: David, now you want to make this about you, and it’s not about you, it’s about what happened. And that’s what I’m trying to –

Q I’m sorry that you feel that way, but that’s not what I’m trying to do.

MR. McCLELLAN: And I’m trying to provide answers to the questions.

Q I have one final question, since that one wasn’t answered. Is it appropriate for the Vice President to have waited 14 hours after the incident before he spoke with local law enforcement officials? And do you think that an average citizen would have been accorded that same amount of time before having to answer questions about a shooting incident?

MR. McCLELLAN: That was what was arranged with the local law enforcement authorities. You ought to ask them that question.

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