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White House briefing on CSpan 2, now

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It's also on the White House Web site, live - go to the home page and click the top link.

Excerpts - this my very rough paraphrasing, typing as they speak.

Q: Some Democrats are calling for the revocation of Karl Rove's security clearance.

A: I don't think it's helpful for me to get into discussing what is an ongoing investigation. I don't think we should be prejudging the outcome.

Q: Does the president see any need to revoke Karl Rove's security clearance in the interim?

A: Let me back up, a number of you have asked if the president has continuing confidence in Karl Rove. Any individual who works here at the White House has the confidence of the president. They wouldn't be working here at the White House if they didn't have the president's confidence. In terms of security clearance... I'm confident those individuals have the appropriate security clearances.

Q: The president has spoken about this when asked. He's spoken about these questions. Does he retain confidence in Karl Rove specifically.

A: Yes.

Q: But you said to the public affirmatively that Karl Rove is not involved. Yet now we have evidence to the contrary. How do you reconcile the two things.

A: I'm not going to prejudge the outcome.... I'm not going to respond to every individual news story.

Q: We know what the facts are. We know he spoke about Wilson's wife. You've heard Democrats say today that alone is inappropriate conduct. What was Karl Rove trying to accomplish, and does the president think it was fair game for him to do that?

A: Ongoing investigation, if I were to start commenting on news reports, I'd be prejudging the investigation.

(John's note: Rove's own attorney admitted it, what news story?)

Q: There's a difference between what's legal and what's right, is what Karl Rove did right?

A: The best way to help the investigation is for me not to get into discussing it from this podium.

Q: You say you won't discuss it, but the Republican National Committee put out talking points, and other Republican surrogates are putting out talking points and talking. So someone is providing this information, are you behind the scenes directing a response to this story?

A: You can talk to the RNC.

Q: Republican surrogates are getting their information from here, from Karl Rove.

Q: At the very least, can you say whether you stand by your statement that it is simply not true that Karl Rove disclosed the identity of a CIA agent?

A: It's not the appropriate time.

Q: Yes or no. Scott, this is a statement you made on the record, you very confidently asserted to us and the American people. Can you stand by that statement now?

A: I answered that question yesterday.

Q: Does Karl Rove become a liability to the president, pushing his agenda?

A: You're asking all these questions in context to news reports... (John says: again, no, it's in response to Rove's own attorney)

Q: Did he apologize to you for telling you he was not involved? I mean, he put your credibility on the line (this is Helen Thomas).

A: Two years ago I did draw a line, we're just not going to get into commenting on an investigation that continues. I do want to talk about this, and we will once the investigation is complete.

Q: Do you regret putting yourself so far out on a limb? Do you think you went too far?

Now Scottie is picking on an Indian or Pakistani journalist to change the topic (where is Jeffy when you need him?)

Q: Does the White House have a credibility problem?

A: It's clear this is in the context of news reports...

Q: News reports that have been confirmed by Karl Rove's attorney...

A: I'm going to keep going to other people in the room, this isn't the way to have a constructive dialogue...

Q: Why can't you answer the qeuestion about whether the administration has a credibility problem?

A: I think all of you in this room know me very well, you know the type of person that I am. The president is a very straight forward and plain spoken person. And I believe in being straight forward with you all.

Q: How long has the president known that Karl Rove spoke to at least one reporter...

Q: Did it surprise him this week when the story broke?

Q: Scott, would you be willing to allow your attorney to speak to reporters?

A. Next question

Q: You've totally changed some of your statements, what has the president said to karl Rove in relation to the situation?

A: I appreciate you asking, but it's in the context of the investigation.

Q: You were continuously saying it's an ongoing investigation, but also an ongoing news story. Do you not sense that perhaps you, the president or Karl need to say something more to close the credibility gap?

A: I might harm the investigation by talking. I'm not going to comment on news reports. We want to know what the facts are, the way to do that is let the investigators do their work (John says: No, the way to do that is to talk to Karl yourselves - why do we have to have an investigator?)

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