During a discussion of Scott McClellan's new book on Hannity & Colmes, Karl Rove said that McClellan's "questions to me were: Did I leak Valerie Plame's name? And the answer is no. In fact, we know today that the name of Valerie Plame was leaked to Robert Novak by Richard Armitage, the number two guy at the State Department, and not by me." In fact, Novak identified both Rove and Armitage as the sources for his column that revealed Plame's employment with the CIA. And former Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper named Rove as his source who identified former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife as a CIA agent.
On the May 27 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Fox News political analyst Karl Rove said he would not "add to the public record" on the Valerie Plame leak case, but then added to the misinformation in "the public record" offered up by him and others connected with the case, in disputing former White House press secretary Scott McClellan's reported claim in his new book that Rove had misled him regarding Rove's involvement in the leak of Plame's identity as a covert CIA operative.
Co-host Alan Colmes asked Rove, "What about this specific charge that he is claiming that you misled him about your level of involvement in the Valerie Plame case?" Rove replied, "That's simply not true. I'm not going to add to the public record on this because there's a civil lawsuit that the Wilsons have. ... [U]ntil that's resolved, I can't add to the public record." Nevertheless, he then said: "But the fact of the matter is, Scott's questions to me were: Did I leak Valerie Plame's name? And the answer is no." He then asserted: "In fact, we know today that the name of Valerie Plame was leaked to [conservative columnist] Robert Novak by Richard Armitage, the number two guy at the State Department, and not by me and not by [Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff I. Lewis] Scooter Libby."
In fact, Novak has identified both Rove and Armitage as the sources for his July 14, 2003, column, which publicly revealed Plame's employment with the CIA. Former Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper also named Rove as his source who identified former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife as a CIA agent during a telephone conversation on July 11, 2003.
Moreover, contrary to Rove's narrow characterization of the question McClellan purportedly asked -- Rove worded the issue in terms of whether he "leak[ed] Valerie Plame's name" [emphasis added] -- Rove's lawyer Robert Luskin has reportedly acknowledged that there is no meaningful distinction between leaking Plame's "name" and leaking her identity as Wilson's wife, as Media Matters for America has noted. In a July 12, 2005, National Review Online (NRO) article, White House correspondent Byron York wrote that "Luskin told NRO that Rove is not hiding behind the defense that he did not identify Wilson's wife because he did not specifically use her name. Asked if that argument was too legalistic, Luskin said, 'I agree with you. I think it's a detail.' "
Regarding Libby, his indictment alleged that he discussed Plame's CIA employment with then-New York Times reporter Judith Miller before Plame's employment was public. After Miller was jailed for 85 days for refusing to testify before the federal grand jury in the Libby case, she identified Libby as her source for the information on Plame.
From the May 27 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes:
COLMES: This is a "Fox News Alert": A short time ago, the Politico.com posted a story with exclusive details about former White House press secretary Scott McClellan's new book, which is due out next week. McClellan leveled several criticisms at the administration over the run-up to the war in Iraq, the response to Hurricane Katrina, and the handling of the Valerie Plame affair. He also makes several criticisms of our own Karl Rove, who joins us once again tonight from Washington.
And Karl, among the things he says is that you and Scooter Libby had a secret meeting where you kind of decided how to handle this. He says he was misled by you about your involvement in the Valerie Plame affair, went out there and told the American public and the press one thing, and said it was fatal to his ability to be able to speak on behalf of the president.
How do you respond to those charges?
ROVE: Well, first of all, I've just read the same small article you have, so I'm going to reserve my judgment on the greater book until somebody else buys it and gives me a copy.
I will say this. It's a little irresponsible as he -- if this is accurate depiction of what's in the book. He says that, following a meeting, Scooter and I visited in 2005. Well, Scooter and I visited all the time. I don't know what the particular meeting in question was about. I know what it wasn't about, which was it was not about Plame and Wilson.
Both of our attorneys told us not to talk to anybody else in the White House about anything connected with that and so, we didn't. But look, Scooter and I, you know, came into contact every day, if -- or every other day, on things like the selection of judges or a particular policy issue or the vice president's travel schedule or, you know, certain -- a draft of a presidential speech that we were commenting on.
So, you know, he was the White -- he was the vice president's chief of staff, and as a result, we had a lot of business. And now, I think it's frankly maybe a sign of irresponsibility for Scott to sort of suggest that because he saw the two of us meet and he didn't happen to be in the meeting he somehow knows what the meeting was about.
COLMES: What about this specific charge that he is claiming that you misled him about your level of involvement in the Valerie Plame case?
ROVE: That's simply not true. I'm not going to add to the public record on this because there's a civil lawsuit that the Wilsons have, and until that is resolved -- they lost at the district court level, it's on appeal, pretty confident that it's going to be tossed out -- but until that's resolved, I can't add to the public record.
But the fact of the matter is, Scott's questions to me were: Did I leak Valerie Plame's name? And the answer is no. In fact, we know today that the name of Valerie Plame was leaked to Robert Novak by Richard Armitage, the number two guy at the State Department, and not by me and not by Scooter Libby.
HANNITY: Hey, I want to put a little emphasis on the Plame point if I can just -- without going into any more detail, because I have another question about it, Karl. But, he said in this book, "I have no idea what you and Libby discussed, but it was suspicious for these two, who I'd never noticed spending any one-on-one time together." You're saying that's absolutely not true, you did spend a lot of time with Libby.
ROVE: Well, look, it goes to show how out of the loop he was, that he didn't think we spent much time together. I mean, over the course of the seven years or six years that we worked together, Scooter and I spent a lot of time, first on the campaign, and then when we were at the White House, we were on several committees together.
We were ofttimes -- he was the vice president's representative. We had a lot of policy meetings where we would have conversation and discuss -- I mean, Scooter and I officed maybe 20 feet from each other.