White House Press Secretary Tony Snow and Counselor to the President Dan Bartlett held a briefing in Latvia. The journos what to ask questions about leaked classified memo "by President Bush’s national security adviser expressed serious doubts about whether Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki had the capacity to control the sectarian violence in Iraq and recommended that the United States take new steps to strengthen the Iraqi leader’s position." Snow and Bartlett wouldn't comment on that but they would give background off the record.
So in the middle of the the briefing you have the two of them saying basically, "That thing I just said, don't quote that. If you are confused about what was on the record and what wasn't, check the transcript."
Isn't the transcript on the record? Now, I realize that all of those comments will be purged from the official transcripts... but this was in a briefing full of journalist. So, if I have this straight, the White House is now not even waiting to rewrite history. They are rewriting this on the fly, live.
And I am sure this happens all the time. Sigh.
And let's look at out The Times reported on the briefing:
“The president has confidence in Prime Minister Maliki,” the White House press secretary, Tony Snow, told reporters, adding that the administration “is working with the prime minister to improve his capabilities in terms of dealing with the fundamental challenges in Iraq.”I'm going back to the novel. At least there I know what is fiction and what is not.
Two senior administration officials, who insisted on anonymity in exchange for talking about a classified memo, said it was unclear whether Mr. Maliki has seen the memo, but suggested its contents would be no surprise to the Iraqi prime minister, who has been in regular consultation with Mr. Bush.