Thursday, September 30, 2004

Press Gaggle by Scott Mcclellan 

Q Tony Blair has apologized for the evidence that brought the country into war against Iraq, apologizing since apparently some of it was wrong. Do you think the President will also apologize?

MR. McCLELLAN: The President has already talked about what Prime Minister Blair said. The President said we all thought we were going to find the stockpiles, and we're surprised that we did not. But also look at what Prime Minister Blair said and what the President has said: It was the right decision to go in and remove Saddam Hussein's regime from power; he was a threat that we could no longer afford to ignore and let -- and let him continue to deceive the world.

Q Was it appropriate to apologize?

MR. McCLELLAN: The President has already spoken to that issue, John. So he's already said that --

Q Did he apologize?

MR. McCLELLAN: He's already said that, I thought we would have found the stockpiles.

Q That's not an apology.

Q Is that an apology?

MR. McCLELLAN: Dick, he's already addressed this issue. It's the same -- Prime Minister Blair said what he's been saying, too. We all expected to find the stockpiles, but the decision to remove Saddam Hussein, as Prime Minister Blair reiterated again yesterday, was the right decision, because he was a threat and the world is better off with Saddam Hussein removed from power. And that's --

Q Can you say that's more an explanation or an apology? I don't think the statements are --

MR. McCLELLAN: The President said this quite some time ago, he spoke to this very issue quite some time ago. He said the same thing -- Prime Minister Blair said we all thought we were going to find the stockpiles. We all thought we were going to find the stockpiles. But it was the right decision to remove Saddam Hussein --

Q Where is the word sorry?

MR. McCLELLAN: -- from power, and that we're better off -- and we're better off because of it.

Q -- into a place where you use words like --

MR. McCLELLAN: I'd be glad to show you where he said that we all expected to.

Q It's the contrition --

MR. McCLELLAN: I think he's already said --

Q There's no apology.

MR. McCLELLAN: He's already talked to this very issue, Jodi.

(shorter Scotty: I got 99 problems, but the bitch ain't one)

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