McClellan Backs Away from Claims that 'Newsweek' Story Cost Afghan Lives
Editor & Publisher
At a White House press briefing Monday, Press Secretary Scott McClellan, pressed by reporters and with Afghan President Karzai in disagreement, retreated on claims that Newsweek's retracted story on Koran abuse cost lives in Afghanistan.
He also claimed that he had never said it did, even though a check of transcripts disputes that. On May 16, for example, he said, "people have lost their lives." On May 17, he said, "People did lose their lives," and, "People lost their lives" due to the Newsweek report.
Here is the transcript from the latest White House press briefing:
Q: One other question. Karzai was quite definite in saying that he didn't believe that the violence in Afghanistan was directly tied to the Newsweek article about Koran desecration. Yet, from this podium, you have made that link. So --Here are the White House links to McClellan's comments that he says he never said: May 16 and May 17.
McCLELLAN: Actually, I don't think you're actually characterizing what was said accurately. ...