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On his radio show, Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that in his first term, President George W. Bush "left a lot of Clinton U.S. attorneys in office, did not sweep them. Only in his second term did he start replacing some." In fact, Bush reportedly replaced 88 of the 93 U.S. attorneys with his own appointees during the first two years of his presidency.
On CNN Newsroom, CNN national security contributor Fran Townsend twice made the false claim that neither Karl Rove nor I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby had "outed Valerie Plame" as a CIA agent and that the leaker was Richard Armitage. In fact, both Rove and Libby were sources of the information about Plame's CIA employment for at least two journalists.
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.
A Wall Street Journal editorial falsely asserted that "the Senate Intelligence Committee found" former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV "had lied in claiming his wife [former CIA agent Valerie Plame] had played no role in sending him to Niger." In fact, the full committee did not conclude that Plame had suggested the mission. Further, multiple news reports have quoted unnamed intelligence officials who refuted the notion that Plame authorized, or even suggested, Wilson's trip.
In again refusing to acknowledge that former White House senior political adviser Karl Rove was involved in leaking the identity of former CIA operative Valerie Plame to conservative columnist Robert D. Novak, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough falsely suggested that Rove was not a source for Novak.
On CNN, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra J. Saunders claimed that former CIA operative Valerie Plame "was not outed as part of a vendetta," adding: "It was gossip. We know where this came from, from Richard Armitage." However, Armitage was just one of several administration officials who disclosed Plame's identity to the press, and special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald, who investigated the leak, asserted that "multiple people in the White House" engaged in a "concerted action" to "discredit, punish, or seek revenge against" Wilson.
On his CNN Headline News show, Glenn Beck stated: "I said that Scooter Libby should go to jail and he should pay the price for lying to prosecutors. ... He lied to prosecutors. The guy went to jail." In fact, just after a court rejected Libby's request to remain free while he appealed his conviction, President Bush commuted all of Libby's 30-month prison sentence.
In appearances by Karl Rove on Sunday morning talk shows on Fox, CBS, and NBC, not one interviewer asked whether an August 19 Washington Post article was accurate in stating that, according to White House officials, one of Rove's "two basic rules" in putting together briefings for political appointees was "to make sure they complied with the Hatch Act," a federal law that limits political activities by federal employees. As the article noted, "the Office of the Special Counsel ... has concluded that the Hatch Act was violated" during a briefing that was conducted by a Rove aide for political appointees in the General Services Administration.
In a column discussing Karl Rove's resignation, Robert D. Novak asserted that "[a]lthough [special counsel Patrick] Fitzgerald knew from the start that not Rove but the politically nondescript Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage was my primary source in identifying Valerie Plame as a CIA employee, the prosecutor came close to indicting Rove for perjury or obstruction of justice." However, Rove confirmed the information Armitage divulged, as Novak himself has admitted.
Media outlets reporting on Karl Rove's resignation omitted key facts in their discussion of Rove's involvement in the leak of Valerie Plame's identity -- that Rove in fact leaked Plame's identity to columnist Robert Novak and another reporter, that then-White House spokesman Scott McClellan initially denied that Rove was involved in the leak, and that Rove would not have been able to leave "on his own terms" had the White House fulfilled a pledge to fire anyone "involved" in the Plame leak.