Novak on C-SPAN

Bob Novak appeared on “Washington Journal” this morning. Full (and, we apologize: messy) transcript after the jump, including this gem:

    AND, BUT MY COMMENT WOULD BE ABOUT IT SEEMS LIKE THE FACTS OF THIS CASE ARE VERY DISTORTED AND THAT, BEFORE ANY INFORMATION WAS REALLY KNOWN BY THE MEDIA, IN PARTICULAR CHRIS MATTHEWS AND “HARDBALL,” YOU KNOW HE TALKED ABOUT THIS ISSUE ALMOST EVERY DAY. THERE WAS A SEGMENT OF HIS PROGRAM THAT WAS DEVOTED TO THIS ISSUE. AND, YOU KNOW, JUST ABOUT EVERY DAY YOU TUNE IN, YOU WOULDN’T LEARN ANYTHING NEW, BUT YOU WOULD GET A LOT OF WHAT I WOULD CALL CONJECTURE, A LOT OF, WELL, IF THIS IS TRUE AND OUR GOVERNMENT IS DOING THIS, WHAT ELSE IS IT DOING?
    YOU’VE GOT, YOU KNOW, LITERALLY, IF WERE YOU TO GO TO THE ARCHIVES, YOU’VE GOT LITERALLY DOZENS AND DOZENS, PERHAPS EVEN PERHAPS HUNDREDS OF HOURS BROADCASTING ON CONJECTURE WHAT ELSE IS OUR GOVERNMENT DOING IF IT IS DROPPING NAMES OF CIA OPERATIVES FOR POLITICAL USE. AND MY QUESTION WOULD BE HOW MUCH DO YOU THINK CHRIS MATTHEWS IS GOING TO TALK ABOUT THIS STORY NOW THAT ALL OF HIS CONJECTURE IS, YOU KNOW, KIND OF PROVEN TO BE MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING?

Maybe he’s just bitter because he wasn’t invited to Chris’ birthday party.


C-SPAN’s Washington Journal
Guest: Columnist Robert Novak
Date: Friday, September 15, 2006
Transcript from Closed Captioning
Please use with attribution to C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal”
>> Host: LET ME SHOW YOU SOME
NEWSPAPER ARTICLES FROM
YESTERDAY.
THE ONE ON PAGE A-12 IS NOVAK
ACCUSES PLAME SOURCE OF
DISTORTION.
ARMITAGE MINIMIZES ROLE IN LEAK.
RIGHT BELOW IT TODAY IN TODAY’S
NEW YORK TIMES BY DAVID JOHNSON
HEADLINE COLUMNIST CONTRADICTS
LEAK SOURCE, FIRST PARAGRAPH.
ROBERT D. NOVAK, THE COLUMNIST
WHO FIRST DISCLOSED THE IDENTITY
OF THE INTELLIGENCE OFFICER IN
THE CIA LEAK CASE HAS DISPUTED
STATEMENTS BY HIS PRIMARY SOURCE
RICHARD L. ARMITAGE WHO SAID HIS
MENTION OF HER IDENTITY WAS FAD
VER TAENT.
GOOD MORNING MR. NOVAK.
>> Guest: GOOD MORNING.
>> Host: FIRST BEFORE I ASK BUT
THAT WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN
URBANA, ILLINOIS.
>> Guest: HOME OF THE GREAT
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS, I’M AND
ALUMNUS, CLASS OF ’52.
THIS IS A MEETING OF THE
ANNUAL — ANNUAL MEETING OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS
FOUNDATION, OF WHICH I’M A
MEMBER.
>> Host: YOU’VE MADE NEWS IN
THIS TOWN FOR THE LAST TWO DAYS.
WHAT’S YOUR TAKE ON JUST HOW
PEOPLE ARE WRITING UP YOUR
COLUMN?
>> Guest: WELL, I THINK PEOPLE
FOUND OF SOME INTEREST I
DISPUTED MR. ARMITAGE’S ACCOUNT
AND THE FIRST TIME I EVER
DESCRIBED PUBLICLY WHAT HE HAD
SAID TO ME.
AND PEOPLE WHO DON’T — I
THOUGHT PEOPLE TOOK IT WITH
SOME, I THINK, WITH SOME
INTEREST, THOSE PEOPLE THAT
DIDN’T HAVE AN AXE TO GRIND AND
DIDN’T FEEL THAT SOMEHOW OR
ANOTHER MY ACCOUNT WAS
UNDERMINING THEIR PRECONCEIVED
NOTIONS OF THE CASE.
AND THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE, OF
COURSE, WHO DID HAVE
PRECONCEIVED NOTIONS OF THIS
MUCH-EXAGGERATED CASE.
>> Host: HOW MUCH MORE IS THERE
TO COME OUT ON THIS STORY?
>> Guest: I THINK, AS FAR AS I’M
CONCERNED THERE’S NOTHING MORE
TO COME OUT.
I THINK EVERYTHING HAS BEEN
SAID.
I DON’T THINK THERE’S ANY
SECRETS, ANY SMOKING GUNS.
THERE WAS A INDICTMENT AND
CRIMINAL PROSECUTION OF LOUIS
LIB BEE, WHICH HAS AN ENTIRELY
DIFFERENT COURSE THAN MINE AND I
HAVE NOT REALLY MADE MYSELF REAL
AKUWAITED WITH THAT CASE AND NO
KNOWING ABOUT IT THERE.
MAY BE MORE MATERIAL TO COME OUT
ON IT OR NOT.
THE MAIN STORY HOW VALLEY
PLAME WILSON’S NAME APPEARED IN
MY COLUMN, I THINK EVERYBODY WHO
READS NEWSPAPERS KNOWS
EVERYTHING THERE IS NO KNOW.
>> Host: WHEN THIS WHOLE STORY
CAME OUT, HOW LONG AFTER IT CAME
OUT, YOUR COLUMN AND THEN WHEN
THE PROSECUTION STARTED, DID YOU
KNOW THAT RICHARD ARMITAGE HAD
TOLD THE PROSECUTOR THAT HE WAS
THE LEAK?
>> Guest: I DIDN’T KNOW UNTIL
QUITE RECENTLY THAT HE HAD TOLD
THE PROSECUTOR.
I KNEW THE PROSECUTOR, PATRICK
FIFTHS GERALD, KNEW THAT AVERAGE
TAJ WAS THE LEAK BECAUSE IN THE
FIRST SECRET INTERROGATION OF ME
IN MY LAWYER’S OFFICE EARLY IN
2004, THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR MR.
FITZGERALD INDICATED HE KNEW THE
IDENTITY OF NOT ONLY MY PRIMARY
SOURCE BUT MY SECONDARY SOURCE
AND MY TERCIORAY SOURCE, HE KNEW
THOSE — THEIR NAMES.
HOW HE GOT THE NAMES, I DIDN’T
KNOW AND DIDN’T KNOW THAT MR.
ARMITAGE HAD VOLUNTEERED HIS
NAME UNTIL, I GUESS, THE WEEK
BEFORE LAST.
>> Host: AT THAT TIME, WHEN YOU
WERE ASKED, DID YOU CONFIRM IT?
>> Guest: YES, I DID, BECAUSE HE
HAD — HE HAD THE INFORMATION,
HE KNEW IT.
THERE WAS NO POINT IN ME PLAYING
GAMES WITH THE SPECIAL
PROSECUTOR, PARTICULARLY SINCE
MY LAWYERS HAD INFORMED ME THERE
WAS VERY LITTLE CHANCE THAT IF I
HAD REMAINED MUTE, SINCE HE HAD
THE INFORMATION ANYWAY, THERE
WAS VERY LITTLE CHANCE I WOULD
HAVE PREVAILED IN THE SUPREME
COURT, AT GREAT EXPENSE TO
MYSELF.
THE JOURNALISTS WHO DID GO ALL
THE WAY TO THE SUPREME COURT
LOST THE CASE.
THERE IS NO FIELD, THERE IS NO
PRIVILEGE FOR WITHHOLDING THAT
KINDS OF INFORMATION FOR
JOURNALISTS, WHETHER THERE
SHOULD BE OR NOT IS THE SUBJECT
FOR ANOTHER PROGRAM, I WOULD
IMAGINE.
>> Host: SHOULD JUDY MILLER HAVE
GONE TO JAIL?
>> Guest: TO GO TO JAIL FOR NOT
TALKING ABOUT A STORY SHE DIDN’T
WRITE OFFENDS ME.
I BLAME HER LAWYERS, HOWEVER,
FOR TAKING HER DOWN THAT ROUTE.
FIRST AMENDMENT LAWYERS FOR “THE
NEW YORK TIMES” WITH A — WITH
VERY DEEP POCKETS AND THERE WAS
NO PAIN FOR THEM, NO PAIN FOR
THE NEW YORK TIMES, GREAT DEAL
OF TIME FOR JUDY MILLER AND HER
CAREER.
>> Host: RICHARD ARMITAGE WAS
YOUR FIRST SOURCE.
WHO WAS YOUR SECOND AND YOUR
THIRD?
>> Guest: THAT’S BEEN IDENTIFIED
A LONG TIME AGO, AS YOU KNOW,
BECAUSE THEY IDENTIFIED
THEMSELVES.
I IDENTIFIED NONE OF THESE
SOURCES PUBLICLY AND IDENTIFIED
NONE OF THEM TO THE AUTHORITIES.
THEY ALL WERE — THE AUTHORITIES
FOUND OUT ABOUT THEM IN VARIOUS
WAYS AND THE — THEY IDENTIFIED
THEMSELVES.
THE SECOND SOURCE, WHICH WAS
JUST A VERY QUICK CONFIRMATION
WAS CARL ROVE, AND THE THIRD
SOURCE WAS JUST A ROUTINE
QUESTION TO THE PUBLIC
INFORMATION OFFICER OF THE CIA,
A MAN NAMED BILL HARLOW.
SNOO HAVE YOU SEEN VICTORIA
TESUNG’S OP ED PIECE YET?
>> Guest: NO.
IT’S EARLY OUT HERE AND I
HAVEN’T HAD A CHANCE TO READ IT
YET.
>> Host: LET ME READ THE FIRST
TWO PARAGRAPHS FOR YOUR
REACTION.
RICHARD ARMITAGE FINALLY EMERGED
FROM THE COVER MY BACK SIDE
CLOSET APOLOGIZING ON CBS FOR
KEEPING QUIET FOR ALMOST THREE
YEARS ABOUT BEING THE ORIGINAL
SOURCE FOR ROBERT NOVAK’S JULY
14, 200COLUMN STATING THAT JOE
WILSON’S WIFE, VALERIE PLAME,
WORKED FOR THE CIA AND HAD
SUGGESTED HIM FOR A MISSION TO
NIGER.
ANY WITNESS IS FREE TO TALK
ABOUT HIS OR HER TESTIMONY NOT
TO DISCUSS THE MATTER.
PUT ASIDE HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS
OF DOLLARS OF TAXPAYER FUNDS
SQUANDERED ON THE INVESTIGATION.
NEW YORK TIMES REPORTER JUDITH
MILLER’S 85 DAYS IN JAIL, THE
ANGT AND LEGAL FEES OF SCORES OF
WITNESSES.
THE WHITE HOUSE HELD SIEGE TO A
CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION WHILE
FIGHTING THE WAR ON TERROR.
CARL ROVE’S REPUTATION MALIGNED
AND “SCOOTER” LIBBY’S
RESIGNATION AND INDICTMENT.
BY HER SILENCE, MR.
ARMITAGE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ONE
OF THE MOST FACTUALLY DISTORTED
INVESTIGATIONS IN HISTORY.
DO YOU AGREE.
>> Guest: I DON’T KNOW IF I
AGREE WITH EVERY WORD.
I DON’T DISAGREE WITH IT.
I WOULD SAY IT’S NOT MY STYLE OR
THE KIND OF THING I WOULD WRITE
BUT I HAVE A GREAT DEAL OF
RESPECT FOR HER AND CAN’T
DISAGREE WITH ANY OF THE POINTS
SHE MAKES?
HOW’S THAT FOR A POLITICIAN’S
ANSWER?
>> Host: WHAT’S THE FALLOUT FROM
THIS.
WHAT THINGS IN THE FUTURE WILL
HAVE CHANGED BECAUSE OF ALL THIS
INVESTIGATION?
>> Guest: WELL, THAT’S BASED ON
THE THEORY THAT WASHINGTON
LEARNS FROM MISTAKES AND YOU GO
A DIFFERENT ROUTE AND
WASHINGTON — I WILL HAVE BEEN
IN WASHINGTON 50 YEARS IN MAY
AND THEY DON’T LEARN FROM
MISTAKES.
I WOULD THINK THAT GOVERNMENT,
THAT PRESIDENT BUSH AND THE
FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL ASHCROFT
SHOULD KNOW THAT SPECIAL
PROSECUTORS, EVEN WHEN THEY ARE
EMPLOYEES OF THE JUSTICE
DEPARTMENT AS PATRICK FITZGERALD
INDICATED IS NOT A GOOD IDEA.
THEY DON’T HAVE ACCOUNTABILITY
OR RESPONSIBILITY TO A HIGHER
AUTHORITY.
THEY ALWAYS DRAG ON — NOT
ALWAYS BUT MOST OF THE TIME DRAG
ON, DOWN SIDE ALLEYS.
I WOULD SAY IF WASHINGTON
LEARNED FROM ITS MISTAKES THEY
WOULD HAVE SAID NO MORE SPECIAL
PROSECUTORS BUT I WOULD SAY THEY
SHOULD HAVE LEARNED THAT LESSON
LONG AGO.
>> Host: YOU GO BACK TO THE
BEGINNING OF ALL THIS.
WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR FORCING
THE USE OF THE SPECIAL
PROSECUTOR IN THE FIRST PLACE,
THE DEMOCRATS, THE REPUBLICANS,
THE WHITE HOUSE?
WHO MADE THIS HAPPEN?
>> Guest: WELL, THERE WAS THE —
ENORMOUS HUE AND CRY DRUMMED UP
BY LEFT-WING JOURNALISTS.
AND SENATOR CHUCK SHUMER LEADING
THE WAY, SOME VERY, VERY
PARTISAN DEMOCRATS HYPED UP THE
CASE WEEKS AFTER MY COLUMN RAN,
BLEW THIS WHOLE CASE OUT OF
PROPORTION, AS IF A GREAT
NATIONAL SECRET HAD BEEN
DIVULGED AND A GREAT
INTELLIGENCE FAILURE HAD BEEN
PERPETRATED.
AND THE — I THOUGHT THAT THE
ADMINISTRATION AND THE
PRESIDENT, OF COURSE, THEY HAD A
LOT OF OTHER THINGS ON THEIR
MINDS, CRACKED.
THEY COULDN’T TAKE THE PRESSURE.
ATTORNEY GENERAL ASHCROFT
RECUSED HIMSELF.
I DON’T THINK THAT WAS NECESSARY
AT ALL.
THEN HIS DEPUTY DECIDED TO NAME
IS SPECIAL PROSECUTOR.
THEN TAKEN OUT OF THE HANDS OF
THE WHITE HOUSE AND WE WERE OFF
THE TO THE RACES WITH A
MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR
INVESTIGATION OF A CASE WHERE I
THINK MISS TSENG IS QUITE
CORRECT, THERE WAS NO CRIME
COMMITTED.
THEY KNEW VERY EARLY THERE WAS
NO CRIME COMMITTED BY MY WRITING
OF THE — MISS — MRS. WILSON’S
NAME IN THE COLUMN AND THAT THEY
KNEW THE I’DTY OF THE LEAKERS.
SO, IT WAS A VERY UNNECESSARY
INVESTIGATION CAUSING A LOT OF
PAIN.
I THINK THERE SHOULD BE SOME
GREAT EMBARRASSMENTS BY SENATOR
SHUMER AND THESE PEOPLE CALLING
THIS ONE OF THE CRIMES OF THE
CENTS REE AND GIVING SPEECHES ON
THE SENATE FLOOR AND HAVING AD
HOC HEARINGS, WHICH WERE, I
BELIEVE, CARRIED ON C-SPAN WHEN
IT WAS ALL MUCH TO DO ABOUT
NOTHING, IN MY OPINION.
>> Host: ROBERT NOVAK IS OUR
GUEST, BASED OUT THERE AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS THIS
MORNING.
WE HAVE CALLS FROM CLINTON,
CONNECTICUT FIRST ONE UP.
GO AHEAD, PLEASE.
>> Caller: GOOD MORNING.
IT’S BEEN SAID THAT ARMITAGE WAS
PART OF THE
INAUDIBLE

CLIQUE.
HE WAS ONE OF THE SIGNATORIES TO
THE PROJECT FOR THE NEW AMERICAN
CENTURY URGING CLINTON TO GO TO
WAR.
HOW DOES THAT SQUARE?
>> Guest: WELL, YOU WERE RIGHT
THE FIRST TIME.
HE WAS VERY CLOSE, HE AND COLIN
POWELL, I’VE WRITTEN IN COLUMNS
WERE JOINED AT THE HIP.
THEY WERE SKEPTICS GOING TO WAR
IN IRAQ, VERY CAUTIOUS.
MATTER OF FKT, I WAS AGAINST
GOING TO WAR IN IRAQ, BOTH IN MY
TELEVISION APPEARANCES AND IN MY
COLUMN, I WAS ONE OF THE FEW
JOURNALISTS WHO SAID THERE WAS
NO WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION
AND IT WAS NOT IN OUR NATIONAL
INTERESTS TO INTERVENE THERE.
AND SO, IT’S — IT’S REALLY
RIDICULOUS TO SAY THIS WAS SOME
KIND OF AN ATTEMPT TO ATTACK JOE
WILSON BECAUSE HE WAS ANTI-WAR
BY ONE OF THE FEW OFFICIALS IN
THE ADMINISTRATION WHO WAS AINTS
WAR AND BY ONE OF THE FEW
CONSERVATIVE JOURNALISTS WHO WAS
ANTI-WAR.
>> Host: NEXT TO NASHVILLE,
TENNESSEE.
GOOD MORNING, YOU’RE ON WITH BOB
NOVAK.
>> Caller: GOOD MORNING.
I GOT A COUPLE OF QUESTIONS.
THE FIRST ONE WOULD BE A YES OR
NO AND THEN I HAVE A FOLLOW-UP.
DID HE SEE THE CBS INTERVIEW
WITH DAVID MARKS AND ARMITAGE?
>> Guest: YES.
>> Caller: YOU DID.
SO, IN THAT INTERVIEW, ARMITAGE
SAYS THAT HE TOLD COLIN POWELL
AND COLIN POWELL GOT WITH THE
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT.
THIS ALL HAPPENED BEFORE THE
SPECIAL PROSECUTOR EVER COME
INTO PLAY.
WHAT DO YOU SAY ABOUT THAT?
>> Guest: WELL, I WISH YOU’D
READ MY COLUMN, WHAT MY COLUMN
WAS ALL ABOUT, WAS, I THOUGHT
THAT MR. ARMITAGE WAS VERY
DISINGENUOUS IN HIS INTERVIEW
WITH MR. MARTIN BECAUSE HE
INDICATED THAT, IN THE FIRST
PLACE, HE INDICATED THAT HE HAD
SAID HE THOUGHT THAT MRS. WILSON
WORKED AT THE CIA AND JUST KIND
OF SUGGESTED HE HAD HEARD THAT.
WHEN, IN FACT, HE TOLD ME VERY
FLATLY SHE WORKED THERE AND THATWHAT
DIVISION SHE WORKED IN.
HE ALSO INDICATED THIS WAS JUST
CHIT-CHAT, IMPLYING HE NEVER
THOUGHT IT WOULD APPEAR IN PRINT
WHEN, IN FACT, HE TOLD ME THAT
HE THOUGHT THIS WAS THE KIND OF
COLUMN THAT MY LATE PARTNER AND
I SPECIALIZED IN, INSIDE
WASHINGTON DOPE.
I ALSO SAY IN THE COLUMN THAT
IT’S DISENJEN
IT’S DISINGENUOUS FOR ARMITAGE
TO SAY HE COULDN’T REVEAL TO
ANYBODY HE WAS THE SOURCE
BECAUSE HE WAS ASKED TO BY THE
SPECIAL PROSECUTOR WHEN, IN
FACT, THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR WAS
NOT NAME UNTIL DECEMBER 30th,
2003.
SHE HAVE KNOWN HE WAS THE FORCE
WHEN THE COLUMN APPEARED JULY
14th, 2003.
HE SAID HE DIDN’T REALIZE IT
UNTIL — UNTIL OCTOBER 1st.
THAT STILL GAVE HIM THREE MONTHS
BEFORE THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR
WAS NAMED, WHICH HE WAS TOTALLY
FREE TO REVEAL HIS NAME HIMSELF
AS THE SOURCE.
>> Host: DO YOU HAVE ANY
KNOWLEDGE AS TO WHEN THE
PRESIDENT AND KARL ROVE AND THE
PEOPLE AROUND THE VICE PRESIDENT
WOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT HE WAS THE
SOURCE?
>> Guest: I DON’T.
I DON’T REALLY KNOW THAT, THAT
INFORMATION.
THAT’S VERY CLOSELY HELD.
I HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO FIND
OUT.
PRESIDENT STILL SAYS HE CAN’T
TALK ABOUT IT BECAUSE OF THE
CASE BY THE SPECIAL PROSECUTOR.
INVESTIGATION BY THE SPECIAL
PROSECUTOR, WHICH SEEMS TO
TOTALLY RUN ITS COURSE BUT THERE
IS A CRIMINAL PROSECUTION THAT
KEEPS LINGERING AGAINST
“SCOOTER” LIBBEY.
WHEN THE — DID THE PRESIDENT
KNOW UNTIL TWO WEEKS AGO THAT
ARMITAGE WAS MY SOURCE?
I HAPPEN TO KNOW FOR A FACT THAT
HE DID, EXACTLY WHEN, I DON’T
KNOW, BUT I HAVE A VERY GOOD
SOURCE THAT INFORMS ME THAT HE
DID KNOW.
>> Host: THE THING HARD FOR
PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND, AT THAT
POINT — THIS WAS SUCH, A YOU
KNOW, SPENT — PRESS WAS
SPENDING SO MUCH TIME ON IT —
WHY WOULDN’T THE PRESIDENT HAVE
PICKED UP THE PHONE AND CALLED
COLIN POWELL AND TALK TO DICK
ARMITAGE AND GET HIM TO ANNOUNCE
THIS THING AND GET THIS OVER
WITH?
>> Guest: I HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT
THAT MANY TIMES.
AND I, ALSO, SAID IN THE
COLUMN — I’M FREE IN THAT
COLUMN TO SAY A LOT OF THING IN
THAT COLUMN BECAUSE I WAS UNDER
WRAPS AND A LOT CAME OUT IN —
IN THE BOOK BY ISIKOFF AND
DAVID CORN.
I SAID, ON OCTOBER 1st, THE DAY
THE SECOND COLUMN RAN AND, AFTER
IT WAS CLEAR THAT THE JUSTICE
DEPARTMENT WAS INVESTIGATING,
THAT KEN DUBERSTEIN, THE
FORMER WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF
STAFF AND LOBBYIST TELEPHONED ME
AND SAID THAT ARMITAGE WAS
AFRAID THAT HE MIGHT HAVE
INADVERTENTLY BEEN MY CHOICE AND
CHECKING TO ME TO FIND OUT IF HE
WAS MY SOURCE.
I THOUGHT THAT WAS ABSOLUTE
BLATHER, SO I DIDN’T ANSWER THE
QUESTION.
OF COURSE, HE KNEW HE WAS MY
SOURCE AND HE ALSO SAID THAT HE
THOUGHT HE — THAT MR. ARMITAGE
WAS CONSIDERING TURNING HIMSELF
IN AND RESIGNING AS DEPUTY
SECRETARY OF STATE.
I SAID, THAT WOULD BE
UNFORTUNATE, MEANING I THOUGHT
HE WAS A VALUABLE PUBLIC SERVANT
BUT IT WAS HIS CHOICE AND, SO,
HE VERY WELL COULD HAVE GONE
PUBLIC AT THAT TIME.
PERHAPS IT COULD HAVE COST HIM
HIS JOB, BUT PERHAPS THE
THING — PROPER THING TO DO.
I’M NOT MAKING THAT JUDGMENT.
>> Host: RICHMOND, VIRGINIA FOR
BOB NOVAK.
>> Caller: YES, SIR.
OKAY, I’M A NIXON REPUBLICAN AND
CAN’T FIGURE IT OUT.
HOW IS BUSH ABLE TO, ALL THESE
FORCES THAT WERE SO HOSTILE TO
NIXON, HE’S ABLE TO USE THEM TO
HIS FAVOR?
I MEAN, I MEAN, I GUESS YOU’D
HAVE TO SAY NIXON’S
HOSTILITY TO THE RICH IS
EVIDENTLY WHAT DID HIM IN,
ESPECIALLY LIKE THIS BOB
WOODWARD AND ESPECIALLY “THE
WASHINGTON POST” BECAUSE YOU
COMMENT ON THAT.
THANK YOU.
>> Host: BY THE WAY BOB NOVAK,
DID BOB WOODWARD KNOW ABOUT THE
STORY BEFORE OR AFTER YOU?
>> Guest: ACCORDING — ACCORDING
TO HIS OWN INDICATIONS, HE KNEW
ABOUT IT BEFORE ME BUT HE DIDN’T
WRITE ANYTHING.
THERE IS A LOT OF THINGS PEOPLE
KNOW THAT THEY DON’T WRITE.
I WROTE THIS AND THAT’S WHY IT
BECAME A CONTROVERSY.
I REALLY DON’T HAVE ANY THEORY
ON WHY NICKS SON DIDN’T SURVIVE
AND GEORGE W. BUSH SURVIVES.
>> Host: SPRINGFIELD, VIRGINIA,
GO AHEAD.
>> Caller: I’M A REPUBLICAN,
BARELY HANGING ON TO BEING A
REPUBLICAN IN THE CURRENT
CLIMATE HERE WITH THIS
ADMINISTRATION.
I THINK ONE OF THE THINGS THAT
CONTINUES TO GET BLURRED IN THIS
AND I THINK MR. NOVAK PLAYS A
LARGE ROLE IN THIS IS THAT
REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THERE WAS
A CRIME OF REVEALING VALERIE
PLAME’S NAME, YOU KNOW, IT’S
CLEAR THE ADMINISTRATION WAS
POLITICIZING THIS AND USING IT
TO ATTACK JOE WILSON.
AND SO MUCH — SO MUCH
DISTORTIONS HAVE BEEN MADE
AGAINST JOE WILSON AND HIS WIFE
ON THIS.
>> Host: LIKE WHAT, CALLER?
>> Caller: EXCUSE ME?
>> Host: LIKE WHAT?
>> Caller: LIKE PEOPLE SAYING
JOE WILSON ACTUALLY WAS THE
PERSON WHO REVEALED HIS WIFE’S
NAME, YOU KNOW, THAT REVEALED
THAT SHE WAS A CIA OPERATIVE AND
SHE REALLY WASN’T COVERT AND ALL
THESE SORT OF THINGS.
AND THERE’S PLENTY OF
INDICATIONS OUT HERE THAT I
WOULD THINK THAT MR. NOVAK IS
NOW TALKING IN GREAT DEAL ABOUT
THIS BECAUSE HE, HIMSELF, WAS
ONE OF THE SUBJECTS OF THIS
INVESTIGATION BY MR. FITZGERALD,
NOT FOR A CRIME OF REVIEWING
THIS BUT FOR BEING DISINGENUOUS
OR FLAT-OUT LYING IN THE GRAND
JURY, THE SAME THING THAT MR.
LIBBY —
>> Host: ARE YOU SUGGESTING MR.
NOVAK LIED TO THE GRAND JURY?
>> Caller: I’M SUGGESTING THAT
RIGHT NOW HE’S TRYING TO KEEP
HIMSELF OUT OF LEGAL PROBLEMS
AND, BY PUTTING THE ISSUE ON TO
MR. ARMITAGE.
I’M CERTAINLY NOT THE ONLY ONE
SAYING THAT, I’VE BEEN READING
ABOUT THAT ALREADY.
A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE TALKING
ABOUT THIS THAT MR. NOVAK’S
CURRENT PUBLIC RELATIONS ACT ON
THIS IS ALL ABOUT THAT.
>> Host: THANKS.
>> Guest: YOU KNOW, I’M ALWAYS
AMUSED BY THE REPUBLICANS.
PEOPLE CALL IN AND SAY THEY ARE
REPUBLICAN.
NOW, YOU HAVE NO CONTROL OVER
THAT.
YOU CAN HAVE A COMMUNIST CALL IN
AND SAY HE’S A REPUBLICAN.
THIS GUY IS ABOUT AS MUCH OF A
REPUBLICAN AS MY FOOT IS.
HE’S GOT THE WHOLE JOE WILSON
LINE DOWN PAT.
JOE WILSON WAS THE FIRST PERSON
WHO KNEW THAT HIS WIFE WAS A
COVERED EMPLOYEE, NOT A COVERT
EMPLOYEE, WHO IDENTIFIED HER AS
SUCH.
THE POINT OF THE MATTER IS ABOUT
MYSELF, I WAS NEVER — I MEAN, I
JUST DESPISE THESE PEOPLE AND
BLOG GERS GETTING ON C-SPAN ON
CALLS AND SAYING THINGS THEY
KNOW NOTHING ABOUT, NOT THE
SLIGHTEST THING WITH NO
RESPONSIBILITIES.
I WAS NEVER A TARGET OF THIS
INVESTIGATION.
I WAS A COOPERATIVE WITNESS
BECAUSE MY LAWYER AD MISSED ME
TO BE.
MY LAWYERS HAVE TOLD ME, ALWAYS
TELL THE TRUTH AND NEVER —
NEVER MAKE ANYTHING UP.
IF YOU DON’T REMEMBER SOMETHING,
SAY YOU DON’T REMEMBER IT.
I WAS — I WAS A TOTALLY
COOPERATIVE AND RECEIVED THE
THANKS FROM FOR MY COOPERATION
FROM MR. FITZGERALD.
I WAS NEVER A TARGET OF
ANYTHING.
I TESTIFIED UNDER OATH TO HIM,
TO THE FBI, AND FINALLY TO THE
GRAND JURY.
THEY ASKED ME TO NOT REVEAL IT
AND AT THEIR REQUEST I DID FOR
THE REVEAL IT.
I AM TALKING NOW NOT IN A PUBLIC
RELATIONS ATTEMPT.
I DON’T HAVE A TUB BLIK
RELATIONS MAN, I’M NOT A
POLITICIAN.
I’M A JOURNALIST.
AND UNDER JOURNALIST RULE I
COULD NOT GIVE THE FINAL THING I
KEPT SECRET, WHEN MY PRIMARY
SOURCE WAS, UNTIL HE IDENTIFIED
HIMSELF.
NOT WHEN BOB WOODWARD IDENTIFIED
HIM, WHICH HE DID, OF COURSE.
OR BEN BRADLEY SUSPECTED THAT IT
WAS MR. ARMITAGE.
NOT WHEN — I COULDN’T REVEAL
HIM WHEN IT CAME OUT IN THE
ISAKOFF-CORN BOOK, NOT UNTIL
ARMITAGE WENT ON CSB WITH DAVID
MARTIN AND SAID, YES, I AM THE
SOURCE.
THEN I WAS FREE TO VE VEAL IT.
I GUARANTEE I AM IN NO DANGER OF
BEING PROSECUTED BECAUSE I TOLD
THE TRUTH AT ALL TIMES.
>> Host: WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THE
SPECULATION THAT JOE WILSON WAS
THE SOURCE OF THAT BOOK?
>> Guest: HE WAS A BIG SOURCE.
THAT’S A VERY ODD COUPLE.
ISACOFF SAYS HE IS NON-IDEALOGICAL
HE IS FROM THE “NATION MAGAZINE”
AND IN MR. WILSON’S MEMOIR HE
HAS CORN ADVISING HIM SAYING A
LAW WAS BROKEN AND EGGING HIM
ON.
HE WAS A PART OF THE WHOLE
BUILD-UP OF THIS STORY AND IT IS
DEEPLY IRONIC HIS BOOK IS THE
BOOK THAT IS BEING USED TO
INDICATE THAT THERE WAS NO
CONSPIRACY.
YOU CAN’T, IN YOUR WILDEST
IMAGINATION IMAGINE ARMITAGE AS
A PART OF THE PLOT TO UNDERMINE
THE WILSONS.
OF COURSE, CORN IS FRANTIC AND
WRITING BLOGS AND WRITING IN THE
NATION SAYING THERE WAS ANOTHER
TRACK, WHICH IS A GREAT
CONSPIRACY THEORY.
THERE IS ALWAYS ANOTHER TRACK.
SO, I THINK THAT THERE’S NO
DOUBT THAT THERE’S — THERE WAS
A CLOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH CORN
AND WILSON.
>> Host: TALKING TO BOB NOVAK,
IN URBANA, ILLINOIS THIS MORNING
AT HIS ALMA MATER, UNIVERSITY OF
ILLINOIS.
NORTH CAROLINA, YOU ARE NEXT,
GEORGE BUSH SUPPORTER.
>> Caller: YES, THANK YOU.
I’D LIKE TO SAY THANK YOU FOR
C-SPAN AND MR. NOVAK, I’D LIKE
TO STRONGLY DISAGREE WITH THAT
LAST CALLER.
I DON’T BELIEVE THAT YOU’RE ON
ANY KIND OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
MISSION OR ANYTHING.
IF ANYBODY IS, IT WOULD BE MR.
WILSON.
AND, BUT MY COMMENT WOULD BE
ABOUT IT SEEMS LIKE THE FACTS OF
THIS CASE ARE VERY DISTORTED AND
THAT, BEFORE ANY INFORMATION WAS
REALLY KNOWN BY THE MEDIA, IN
PARTICULAR CHRIS MATTHEWS AND
“HARDBALL,” YOU KNOW HE TALKED
ABOUT THIS ISSUE ALMOST EVERY
DAY.
THERE WAS A SEGMENT OF HIS
PROGRAM THAT WAS DEVOTED TO THIS
ISSUE.
AND, YOU KNOW, JUST ABOUT EVERY
DAY YOU TUNE IN, YOU WOULDN’T
LEARN ANYTHING NEW, BUT YOU
WOULD GET A LOT OF WHAT I WOULD
CALL CONJECTURE, A LOT OF, WELL,
IF THIS IS TRUE AND OUR
GOVERNMENT IS DOING THIS, WHAT
ELSE IS IT DOING?
YOU’VE GOT, YOU KNOW, LITERALLY,
IF WERE YOU TO GO TO THE
ARCHIVES, YOU’VE GOT LITERALLY
DOZENS AND DOZENS, PERHAPS EVEN
PERHAPS HUNDREDS OF HOURS
BROADCASTING ON CONJECTURE WHAT
ELSE IS OUR GOVERNMENT DOING IF
IT IS DROPPING NAMES OF
CIA OPERATIVES FOR POLITICAL
USE.
AND MY QUESTION WOULD BE HOW
MUCH DO YOU THINK CHRIS MATTHEWS
IS GOING TO TALK ABOUT THIS
STORY NOW THAT ALL OF HIS
CONJECTURE IS, YOU KNOW, KIND OF
PROVEN TO BE MUCH ADO ABOUT
NOTHING?
>> Guest: WELL, THANK YOU.
MY PROBLEM HERE, SIR, IS THAT I
NEVER WATCH CHRIS MATTHEWS’
PROGRAM BECAUSE I DON’T FEEL
THAT I CAN POSSIBLY LEARN
ANYTHING FROM ALL THAT SHOUTING
AND BLATHER AND INTERRUPTING
PEOPLE.
I HAVEN’T WATCHED HIS PROGRAM IN
YEARS.
I DON’T KNOW MUCH WHAT HE SAID
ABOUT THIS AND I DON’T CARE.
I CAN IMAGINE THAT MR. MATTHEWS
BELIEVES THAT BEING MISTAKEN IS,
IN JOURNALISM, IS NEVER HAVING
TO SAY YOU’RE SORRY.
SO, I DON’T THINK HE’LL SAY MUCH
OF ANYTHING.
I WOULD SAY THIS THE — MOST OF
THE PRESS, REALLY, IGNORED THIS
STORY.
I THINK THEY INTUITIVELY FELT
THERE WAS A BUILD-UP PHONY
STORY.
AT THE BEGINNING THERE WAS A LOT
OF ATTENTION PLAYED TO IT AND A
LOT OF BAD JOURNALISM ON THIS
STORY.
YOU COULD WRITE A BOOK ABOUT THE
BAD JOURNALISM INVOLVED.
BUT JOURNALISTS DON’T SAY
THEY’RE SORRY.
IN FACT, THEY NEVER EVEN SAY
THEY’RE WRONG.
IT’S PART OF, I THINK, WE — WE
ACCEPT THAT AS OUR — AS OUR
FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT TO BE
WRONG.
>> Host: BY THE WAY, WOULDN’T
THE ADMINISTRATION HAVE THE
RIGHT, IF THEY THOUGHT THAT JOE
WILSON’S REPORT WAS INACCURATE,
TOO, YOU KNOW, DO WHAT HE
THIS — WHAT THEY DO ALL THE
TIME, IS RAISE THE IDEA THAT HE
WAS WRONG?
I MEAN, WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN
WRONG WITH THAT?
>> Guest: THEY SHOULD HAVE.
IN THE COLUMN THAT — YOU KNOW,
THE COLUMN THAT CAUSED ALL THE
TROUBLE, MY COLUMN OF JULY 14th
OF, EXCUSE ME, 2003, IN WHICH I
IDENTIFIED JOE WILSON’S WIFE AS
A CIA EMPLOYEE, THAT WAS JUST A
VERY SMALL PART OF THE COLUMN.
THERE WAS A GREAT DEAL ABOUT HIS
MISSION AND I SUGGESTED AT THE
END OF THE COLUMN THAT THE
QUOTED A VERY SENIOR
ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL.
I WON’T SAY WHO IT WAS.
A WHITE HOUSE OFFICIAL IT WAS,
WHO SAID THAT HE THOUGHT IT
WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA TO
DECLASSIFY THIS REPORT AND
RELEASE IT.
I SAID IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA,
TOO.
I THINK THEY SHOULD HAVE.
IT WAS A — ONE THING THAT IT’S
NEVER SHOWN, IT WAS A SLOPPY JOB
AND IT WAS AN ORAL REPORT, NEVER
A WRITTEN REPORT.
I CAN’T BELIEVE THAT IT COULDN’T
HAVE BEEN DECLASSIFIED AND RE
RELEASED BUT THIS ADMINISTRATION
HAS NOT BEEN KNOWN FOR
TRANSPARENCY AND HAS GOTTEN IN A
LOT OF TROUBLE FOR BEING OVERLY
SECRET TIFF.
>> Host: SAN DOEG GO, GOOD
MORNING.
>> Caller: GOOD MORNING.
THANK S FORS FOR TAKING MY CALL.
I WONDERED IF YOU COULD REMINE
ME AND PERHAPS ELABORATE MR.
LIBBY’S ROLE IN ALL THIS.
IF I’M NOT MISTAKEN HE’S ACCUSED
OF PERJURING HIMSELF BUT THE
LEAK OF THIS SEEMS TO HAVE COME
FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT.
I’M WONDERING IF YOU CAN
ELABORATE ON THAT.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
>> Guest: IT’S NOT THAT IT SEEMS
TO.
THAT WAS THE LEAK.
WE KNOW THAT NOW.
THAT WAS THE PUSSY-FOOT AROUND
IT.
THAT WAS THE LEAK TO ME AND THAT
WAS WHAT APPEARED IN PRINT.
I DON’T KNOW MUCH ABOUT MR.
LIBBY’S — I FEEL SORRY FOR HIM,
A VALUABLE PUBLIC SERVANT BUT
DISAGREE WITH HIM IN IRAQ.
I WAS VERY FOND OF THE VICE
PRESIDENT AND I THOUGHT, I
ADMIRED MR. LIBBY.
I DON’T KNOW.
I HAVE NOT — I DIDN’T HAVE ANY
CONTACT WITH HIM ON THIS.
I’M NOT A PART OF THAT CASE.
THERE WAS NO CRIME COMMITTED
PRIOR TO THE INVESTIGATION.
THE INVESTIGATION PRODUCED THE
ALLEGED CRIME OF OBSTRUCTION OF
JUSTICE AND PERJURY BY MR. LIBBY
AND I DON’T KNOW THE FACTS OF
IT, I DON’T KNOW THE DETAILS OF
IT.
A TRIAL, IT’S COST HIM MILLIONS
OF DOLLARS.
IT’S DESTROYED HIS PUBLIC
CAREER.
BUT, ALL THIS HAPPENED AFTER MY
COLUMN RAN.
AND THE TRIAL IS SCHEDULED TO
TAKE PLACE IN JANUARY.
>> Host: I KNOW IT IS NONE OF
OUR BUSINESS BUT I’LL ASK YOU
ANYWAY.
HOW MUCH MONEY DID YOU HAVE TO
SPEND ON LEGAL FEES?
>> Guest: WELL, IT ISN’T ANY OF
YOUR BUSINESS AND I SPENT TOO
MUCH.
BUT, IT WAS — IT WASSING FOR
LIKE WHAT MR. LIBBY SPEN,
BECAUSE I WAS NOT A TARGET.
I DIDN’T WANT TO MAKE ANY
MISTAKES AND MY HOME PAPER, THE
KUN TIMES WAS HELPFUL IN MEETING
THOSE EXPENSES.
>> Host: IT MIGHT BE INTERESTED
TO KNOW WHAT EVERYBODY HAS BEEN
SPENDING ON LEGAL FEES IF YOU
TOTAL IT FOR EVERYBODY IN FRONT
OF THE GRAND JURY AND
EVERYTHING.
>> Guest: OH, IT WOULD BE
MILLIONS.
THERE WAS ONE GENTLEMAN, A
PRIVATE CITIZEN WHO I TALK TO
FREQUENTLY AND THEY FOUND HIM
SENDING AN E-MAIL TO KARL ROVE,
IN WHICH HE TALKED ABOUT IT AND
HE HAD TO SPEN AS MUCH ON LEGAL
FEES AS I DID.
HE WAS HAULED BEFORE THE GRAND
JURY TWICE BECAUSE HE HAD SENT
THIS E-MAIL TO KARL ROVE.
THAT IS THE WHOLE PROBLEM WITH
THESE SPECIAL PROSECUTORS.
WITH MANY FEDERAL INVESTIGATORS
BUT PARTICULARLY SPECIAL
PROSECUTOR INVESTIGATIONS.
THE LAWYER’S MINDS IS YOU GO,
YOU SWEEP OUT AND LOOK AT EVERY
POSSIBILITY.
MUCH OF IT AMOUNTS TO NOTHING,
ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.
IT DOES CAUSE A GREAT DEAL OF
EXPENSE, AS YOU SAY, BRIAN.
>> Host: WESTFEEL,
MASSACHUSETTS.
GEORGE BUSH SUPPORTER.
>> Caller: GOOD MORNING.
MR. NOVAK, I’VE BEEN A FAN OF
YOURS SINCE I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL
IN 1960s.
IT IS GOOD TO SPEAK TO YOU.
>> Guest: THANK YOU.
>> Caller: I HAVE A COUPLE
QUESTIONS.
WILSON REFERS TO A FRIEND OF HIS
WHO RAN INTO YOU ON THE STREET
AND YOU CAST AS PERSIANS ON
WILSON.
NUMBER 2, COULD YOU ELABORATE ON
THE ROLE OF THIS MARK GROSSMAN
FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT WHO
WAS THE COLLEGE ROOMMATE OF WILL
WILSON?
AND, THREE, DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA
OF WHY THE 16 WORDS WERE TAKEN
OUT?
I MEAN, WHO IN THE CIA BROUGHT
THAT TO THE WHITE HOUSE
ATTENTION THAT THEY RENEGED ON
THAT?
AND, FOUR, WHY ISN’T WILSON AND
PLAME INDICTED FOR CONSPIRACY?
>> Guest: A LOT OF STUFF.
FIRST QUESTION WAS, AS A MATTER
OF FACT, I WAS RETURNING TO MY
OFFICE, WALKING TO MY OFFICE AND
NOW I CAN SAY IT FROM MY
INTERVIEW WITH MR. ARMITAGE WHEN
SOMEBODY GOT ME ON THE STREET
AND STARTED HARASSING ME ABOUT
WHAT A GREAT HERO JOE WILSON WAS
AND I BLURTED OUT MY OPINION OF
HIM, WHICH I SHOULDN’T DO — I
SHOULDN’T TALK TO TOTAL
STRANGERS ON THE STREET.
I TRY NOT TO ANYMORE.
THEY OFTEN APPROACH ME, BUT I
TRY TO SHOW MORE SENSE.
THAT WAS NOT A SENSIBLE THING ON
MY PART TO DO.
BUT, IN THE GREAT SCHEME OF
THINGS, NOT VERY IMPORTANT.
WHAT WAS YOUR SECOND ONE?
>> Caller: I DON’T REMEMBER.
>> Guest: OH.
>> Caller: LET ME MOVE ON.
>> Guest: I TELL YOU WHAT, THE
ANSWER TO THE — I HAVE NO
ANSWER TO ALL THE OTHERS ANYWAY.
SO WE CAN DISPOSE OF THEM.
>> Host: AN E-MAIL FROM A.F.
A.F. NARREMAN FROM LEESAMVILLE,
NEW YORK.
I WOULD REQUEST THAT YOU ASK
YOUR GUEST, ROBERT NOVAK, WHOM
DID ARMITAGE SITE AS HIS
SOURCES?
ROVE, LIBBY?
WHAT WAS HIS STATED PURPOSE —
>> Guest: GIVE ME A BREAK.
IF YOU ARE A JOURNALIST AND YOU
SIT DOWN WITH SOMEBODY, A DEPUTY
SECRETARY, A SUBCABINET MEMBER
TELLS YOU THAT PIECE OF
INFORMATION, YOU SAY, WHAT’S
YOUR SOURCE ON THAT?
WELL, I DIDN’T ASK HIM HIS
SOURCE.
I CHECKED IT OUT.
BUT, I WAS SURE THAT MR.
ARMITAGE WAS NOT MAKING IT UP.
HE WOULDN’T, YOU KNOW, MAKE UP
THINGS LIKE THAT.
HIS SOURCE HAPPENED TO BE A
STATE DEPARTMENT MEMO.
ONE OF THE REASONS HE SAYS
NOW — I AGREE WITH HIM ON
THIS — HE USED MRS. WILSON’S
NAME, HE COULDN’T BELIEVE THAT,
IN A STATE DEPARTMENT MEMO, THE
NAME OF A COVERT AGENT WOULD BE
INCLUDED.
SHE WAS NOT A COVERT AGENT.
THAT’S THE ONE PART OF THIS CASE
THAT’S GOING TO BE DEBATED, I
SUPPOSE, IN THE FUTURE.
SHE WAS NOT A COVERT AGENT SHE
WAS COVERED, SHE WAS NOT — BUT
EVERYBODY IN TOWN — NOT
EVERYBODY IN TOWN — BUT A GREAT
NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN TOWN KNEW
SHE WAS WORKING FOR THE CIA.
NOW, WHAT WAS HIS MOTIVE?
I DON’T KNOW WHAT HIS MOTIVE
WAS.
HE HAD A REPUTATION LIKING TO
PASS GOSSIP AND I SPENT A LOT OF
MY — IN MY 50 YEARS, ALMOST 50
YEARS IN WASHINGTON, I SPENT A
LOT OF TIME HAVING PEOPLE GIVE
ME INFORMATION AND I DON’T
REALLY KNOW WHY THEY DO.
I HOPE I INJECT A KIND OF TRUTH
SIRE RUM ON PEOPLE THEY TELL ME
THINGS THEY SHOULDN’T.
MAYBE HE WAS TRYING TO GET THE
STATE DEPARTMENT OFF THE HOOK ON
THE — THAN THE WILSON MISSION
THAT THEY WERE NOT RESPONSIBLE
FOR SENDING HIM.
WAS THERE ANY OTHER QUESTION
INVOLVED IN THAT?
>> Host: YEAH, A SECOND ONE.
WHAT YOU DID MEAN WHEN YOU
STATED AT A CONSERVATIVE
FUNCTION IN DECEMBER OF 2005,
QUOTE, WHY ARE YOU ASKING ME?
ASK PRESIDENT BUSH, HE KNOWS WHO
THE LEAKER IS?
>> Guest: YEAH, I THOUGHT THERE
WAS NO REPORTERS PRESENT THERE
BUT I THOUGHT THAT THE PRESIDENT
KNEW IN 2000 — DECEMBER 2005.
I DON’T KNOW EXACTLY WHEN HE
FOUND OUT, BUT I HAVE FOUND
THROUGH A VERY GOOD SOURCE THAT
HE DID KNOW.
HE DIDN’T FIND OUT ABOUT IT FROM
THE REST OF THE WORLD, WITH —
BY READING THE ISACOFF CODES
CORN BOOK OR HEARING ARMITAGE ON
CBS.
EXACTLY WHEN HE KNEW IT, I DON’T
KNOW BUT I FOUND IT HARD TO
BELIEVE IN 2005 HE DIDN’T KNOW
IT BY THEN.
>> Host: FRANKLIN, TENNESSEE FOR
BOB NOVAK.
GOOD MORNING.
>> Caller: YES.
THANKS FOR TAKING MY CALL.
I WAS JUST CURIOUS.
I DIDN’T READ YOUR ORIGINAL
ARTICLE BUT WHY WAS IT IMPORTANT
TO INCLUDE VALERIE PLAME’S NAME
IN YOUR ARTICLE?
WHAT WAS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF
DISCLOSING HER IDENTITY AS A
CIA OPERATIVE OR WHATEVER SHE
WAS?
>> Guest: THE QUESTION I ASKED
MR. ARMITAGE WAS, WHY WE HAVE
HAD BEEN DISCUSSING THE WILSON
MISSION TO NIGER IN SOME DETAIL.
I STILL CONSIDER MYSELF BOUND BY
JOURNALISTIC RULES OF COMPETENCE
TO SAY EXACTLY WHAT HE WAS
SAYING ABOUT THAT MISSION,
WHETHER GOOD OR BAD.
THERE WAS NOT FOR PUBLICATION.
HE HASN’T REVEALED IT AND SO I’M
NOT GOING TO.
AT ONE POINT, IT WASN’T AT THE
VERY ENDS OF THE INTERVIEW AS HE
INDICATES, BUT NEAR THE END.
AFNG I SAID, WHY WAS IT THAT JOE
WILSON, NOT AN EXPERT IN
INTELLIGENCE, NOT AN EXPERT IN
MILITARY POLICY, NO EXPERIENCE
FOR SOME TIME IN AFRICA, WAS
SENT ON THIS DELICATE MISSION?
AND HE SAID, WELL, YOU KNOW, HIS
WIFE — I THOUGHT THAT WAS A
GOOD QUESTION.
A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE ASKING THAT
QUESTION, NOT PARTICULARLY
HOSTILE WITH JOE WILSON.
I WAS NOT HOSTILE TO HIM AT THAT
TIME.
AND HE SAID THAT, YOU KNOW, HIS
WIFE REQUESTED IT.
SHE SUGGESTED IT, I SHOULD SAY.
SHE SUGGESTED THE MISSION?
AND SHE WORKS FOR THE
COUNTER-PROLIFERATION DIVISION
AT THE CIA.
I THOUGHT THAT WAS NEWS AND SO I
PUT IT IN.
I WRITE A LOT OF NEWS THAT MAKES
PEOPLE UNCOMFORTABLE.
AND I THOUGHT THAT IT ADDED TO
THE STORY.
I THOUGHT IT WAS SO IMPORTANT, I
PUT IT IN THE EIGHTH PARAGRAPH
OF A 13-PARAGRAPH COLUMN.
THAT’S ROUGHLY WHERE IT WAS,
RIGHT ABOUT IN THE MIDDLE.
SO IT WAENT AN EARTH-SHAKING
DEVELOPMENT BUT I THOUGHT IT
IMPORTANT ENOUGH TO BE PRINTED.
>> Host: McPHERSON, KANSAS ON
THE AIR.
>> Caller: MR. NOVAK I WOULD
LIKE TO COMMEND YOU IN THE AGE
WHERE THE MEDIA SEEMS TO BE
DOING MORE AND MORE
BOMB-THROWING THAN BEING THE
SPEAKER OF THE TRUTH.
I FEEL IF THIS STORY HAD STUCK
TO THE WAY THE LIBERALS WANTED
IT TO, YOU PROBABLY WOULD BE UP
FOR A NOBEL PEACE PRIZE.
BUT MY QUESTION TO YOU IS, WHAT
DO YOU THINK IS GOING TO HAPPEN
WITH THIS LAWSUIT?
AND HOW FAR DO YOU THINK IT WILL
GO?
>> Guest: OKAY.
I KNEW THERE WAS ONE QUESTION
FROM THAT — ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE
I DIDN’T ANSWER AND THAT WAS,
SHOULD JOE AND VALERIE WILSON BE
INDICTED.
I AM CERTAINLY — I KNOW OF NO
LAW THAT THEY HAVE BROKEN.
THE LAWSUIT, I AM NOT A LAWYER,
BUT MOST OF THE LAWYERS I HAVE
BEEN TOLD THINK THAT THE LAWSUIT
IS GOING NOWHERE, THAT THEY HAVE
TO PROVE THAT THERE WAS AN
AMIMUS AND DESIRE TO DESTROY JOE
WILSON, PARTICULARLY IN THE CASE
OF JOE ARMITAGE WOULD BE
IMPOSSIBLE TO DECIDE.
SO, I WOULD GUESS IT GOES
NOWHERE.
BUT WE ARE A VERY LI TIJ JOUS
COUNTRY WITH A COUNTRY OF
LAWYERS, IF I COULD MAKE AN
EDITORIAL COMMENT, WE HAVE TOO
DAMN MANY LAWYERS IN MY OPINION.
ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN IN THE
COURTS IN THIS COUNTRY, NO
MATTER — A FINAL JUDGMENT BY
THE WILSONS IS NOT — PROBABLY
NOT POSSIBLE.
THEY WANT TO KEEP THIS STORY
ALIVE.
IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO KEEP IT
ALIVE NOW.
MRS. WILSON HAD A VERY FAT BOOK
CONTRACT, WHICH, FOR ONE REASON
OR ANOTHER WAS CANCELLED.
THEY SAID THEY GOT ANOTHER ONE
JUST AS GOOD.
I HAVEN’T HEARD WHAT THE NAME OF
THAT BOOKHOUSE WAS OR IF THERE
IS ANOTHER ONE BUT THEY’D LIKE
TO KEEP THE STORY GOING.
>> Host: ARE YOU GOING TO WRITE
A BOOK ABOUT THIS?
>> Guest: NOT ABOUT THIS, OH,
NO.
I HAVE A MEMOIR WHICH I HAVE
FINISHED AND I HOPE TO BE ON
C-SPAN SOMEDAY TALKING ABOUT IT.
IT WOULD BE — WON’T BE
PUBLISHED UNTIL NEXT YEAR.
IT’S A — PENT FORM ABOUT TWICE
THE LENGTH OF “WAR AND PEACE” SO
WE HAVE TO CUT IT BACK.
BUT, IT’S ABOUT MY CAREER AND
PARTICULARLY MY 50 YEARS, IT
WILL BE 50 YEARS IN MAY IN
WASHINGTON.
>> Host: DENIM SPRINGS,
LOUISIANA.
>> Caller: YES, THANKS, BRIAN,
FOR C-SPAN AND LETTING ME GET
ON.
I’D LIKE TO ASK MR. NOVAK, HE
STATED THAT ARMITAGE WAS HIS
PRIMARY CONTACT.
BUT HE ALSO STATED, SOMEWHERE
ALONG THERE, HE HAD SECONDARY.
WHO ELSE CALLED HIM AND TIPPED
HIM OFF TO VALERIE PLAME BEING
THE CIA —
>> Guest: WELL, I REALLY — I
REALLY HATE THESE DISTORTIONS,
YOU KNOW.
YOU MAKE THINGS UP THAT YOU
DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT.
NOBODY CALLED ME.
I DIDN’T SAY THAT MR. ARMITAGE
CALLED ME.
I WAS — I WAS IN AN INTERVIEW
WITH HIM AND RAISED A QUESTION
AND HE ANSWERED IT.
AS FOR THE SECONDARY AND
TETIARY SOURCES I REVEALED THEM
IN COLUMNS SOMETIME AGO BECAUSE
THEY REVEALED THEMSELVES, ONE
THROUGH HIS ATTORNEY AND ONE BY
HIMSELF AS MY SOURCES.
SO, THERE WAS NO SECRET THERE.
THE SECONDARY SOURCE WAS
KARL ROVE.
I CALLED HIM UP AND TOLD HIM,
DID YOU KNOW THIS — AND I TOLD
HIM THIS STORY.
AND HE SAID, OH, HE SAYS, YOU
KNOW THAT, TOO?
I TOOK THAT AS A CONFIRMATION.
THAT’S ALL HE SAID ABOUT IT.
HE DIDN’T CALL ME.
THE THIRD SOURCE WAS THE PUBLIC
INFORMATION DIRECTOR AT THE CIA,
BILL HARLOWE, WHO ASKED ME NOT
TO WRITE THE STORY.
DID NOT SAY HE COULD NOT SAY SHE
WAS AN UNDERCOVER PERSON, DID
NOT SAY SHE WAS IN DANGER BUT
OBVIOUSLY CONFIRMED MRS. WILSON
WAS EMPLOYED BY THE CIA.
>> Host: DAVID CORN WILL BE ON
THIS NETWORK MONDAY AT 7:45 AND
WRITES IN HIS BLOG HERE ABOUT
YOUR COLUMN YESTERDAY.
HE SAYS, NOVAK, AS HE
ACKNOWLEDGES DID NOT TAKE NOTES
OF THIS HOUR-LONG CONVERSATION,
THAT’S WHAT RICHARD ARMITAGE,
WHICH MIGHT STRIKE SOME
REPORTERS AS ODD GIVEN HE HAD
BEEN ENDEAVORING FOR YEARS TO
SNAG AN INTERVIEW WITH HIM.
OUTSIDERES ARE LEFT WITH A HE
SAID-SHE SAID TUSSLE BUT THE
LATEST ACCOUNT SEEMS TO
CONTRADICT AN EARLIER VERSION.
>> Guest: WELL, MR. CORN IS A
NASTY PIECE OF WORK, LET ME TELL
YOU THAT.
AND HE WAS THE ONE WHO REALLY
BUILT THIS STORY UP.
HE IS IS IN A DELICIOUSLY IRONIC
SITUATION.
HE WAS ONE OF THE PEOPLE, MUCH
MORE THAN CHRIS MATTHEWS, FOR
BUILDING THIS STORY UP AT THE
OUTSET AND ADVISING JOE WILSON,
WHICH HE NEVER PUTS IN HIS
COLUMN.
AND, HE IS IN THE POSITION WHERE
I THINK MOSTLY THROUGH
INVESTIGATIVE WORK BY HIS
PARTNER, MR. ISACOFF, HE IS
REALLY A PARTY TO BREAKING DOWN
THE STORY AND MICKING IT APPEAR
THERE WAS NO CONSPIRACY AT ALL.
WHICH MUST — MAY ACTUALLY
DESTROY HIM.
NOW, HE IS SO
INAUDIBLE
ON ME AT THIS THAT HE IS
TAKING — SEEMS TO BE TAKING
ARMITAGE’S SIDE IN A DISPUTE
OVER WHAT WAS SAID.
HE DOESN’T KNOW WHAT WAS SAID
THERE BECAUSE THERE WAS ONLY TWO
PEOPLE THERE.
I SAW IN MY COLUMN, OF COURSE
WHICH HE DIDN’T QUOTE, I HAD
RECONSTRUCTED MY CONVERSATION
SHORTLY AFTER I SAW MR. ARMITAGE
BECAUSE HI TO WRITE A COLUMN.
I THINK MR. ARMITAGE MAYBE
RECONSTRUCTED HIS FOR
PROSECUTORS MONTHS LATER AND I
THINK MY ACCOUNT IS CLOSER —
NOT CLOSER TO THE TRUTH, IT
COMPLETELY TRUTHFUL BECAUSE I
HAVE SWORN TO IT UNDER OATH AND
I KNOW EXACTLY AND I’VE REMEMBER
EXACTLY WHAT I SAID.
I FIND IT RECENTLY A LEFT-WING
IDIOLOGUE, SHOULD DISPUTE MY
TECHNIQUES FOR 50 YEARS.
I HAVE BEEN SITTING DOWN WITH
HIGH GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS FOR
INTERVIEWS FOR A HALF — FOR —
SINCE THE COLUMN STARTED 44
YEARS AGO AND EVEN BEFORE THAT
WHEN I WORKED FOR “THE WALL
STREET JOURNAL” AND AM VERY
MUCH, TO TRY TO GET THESE PEOPLE
INTO A CONVERSATIONAL TONE OF
VIEW, WHERE YOU GET INFORMATION
FROM THEM AND I GOT A LOT OF
INFORMATION FROM MR. ARMITAGE.
I STILL WON’T ATTRIBUTE TO HIM
BUT LATER APPEARED IN LATER
COLUMNS.
AND, IT IS OFFPUTTING TO HAVE A
PENCIL AND PEN TAKING DOWN WHAT
HE SAID.
I DIDN’T SAY, I’M NOT GOING TO
QUOTE YOU ABOUT THAT, BUT VERY
NERVOUS ABOUT IT.
THE TECHNIQUE I HAVE USED FOR
MANY YEARS AND I THINK I HAVE
BEEN EXTREMELY ACCURATE ON IT
AND I THINK HE IS JUST
DESPERATELY TRYING TO FIND SOME
WAY TO KEEP THIS STORY OOOH LIVE
FOR HIS FRIEND JOE WILSON.
>> Host: HOW OFTEN DO YOU NOT
TAKE NOTES.
>> Guest: ALMOST ALWAYS.
AN INTERVIEW WITH A CABINET
MEMBER, SOMEBODY LIKE COLIN
POWELL, SOME SECRETARY OF
TREASURY
TREASURY, I ALMOST NEVER TAKE
NOTES.
I THINK IT TURNS IT INTO A MUCH
MORE STERILE THING.
I’M TRYING TO GET INFORMATION, A
TECHNIQUE I THINK A LOT OF
REPORTERS USE.
I DON’T THINK MR. CORN IS REALLY
A REPORTER AS MUCH AS HE IS AN
EDITORIALIST SO I DON’T THINK IS
REALLY INTERESTED IN GETTING
FACTS BUT PUTTING ON A LINE.
>> Host: BELL LA VISTA, ILLINOIS
ON THE AIR WITH MR.BOB NOVAK.
>> Caller: I LOVE YOUR COLUMN
AND WONDER IF YOU THINK
PRESIDENT BUSH WOULD PARDON MR.
LIBBY.
>> Guest: WELL, I WOULD HOPE HE
WOULD PARDON HIM.
THE PRESIDENT IS THE LEADER OF
THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.
OBVIOUSLY, HE’S NOT GOING TO
PARDON HIM BEFORE THIS ELECTION.
OF COURSE, WILL HE PARDON HIM
BEFORE THE TRIAL?
I FEEL GREAT SYMPATHY FOR MR.
LIBBY.
I WOULD HOPE THAT HE WOULD, BUT
THAT’S A, OBVIOUSLY,
PRESIDENTIAL DECISION.
>> Host: DAYTON, OHIO.
>> Caller: HI, BRIAN.
THANK YOU FOR C-SPAN.
MR. NOVAK, EARLIER, YOU
COMMENTED ON I THINK IT WAS
CHRIS MATTHEWS AND “HARDBALL” I
AGREE WHOLEHEARTEDLY YOU NEVER
GET ANY INFORMATION FROM SUCH
SHOWS.
THAT’S NOTHING BUT YELLING AND
PARTISAN BICKERING BUT I FIND IT
IRONIC IT’S KIND OF A MIMIC OF
“CROSS-FIRE” JUST PEOPLE IN
BOXES INSTEAD OF ON THE STAGE
WITH YOU.
AND THAT, I MEAN, KIND OF MIMIC
THAT SHOW BEING THE KIND OF PRO
TO TYPICAL PARTISAN BICKERING
SHOW AS “CROSS-FIRE.”
MY QUESTION AFTER JON STEWART
CAME OUT AND POINTED THIS OUT TO
THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, I WONDER IF
IT WAS HIM THAT CAUSED
“CROSS-FIRE” TO BE CANCELLED OR
SOME OTHER REASON?
>> Guest: THE NEW MANAGEMENT
THAT CAME IN DIDN’T LIKE IT,
DIDN’T LIKE THE SHOW.
I WAS ON “CROSS-FIRE” OFF AND ON
FOR A QUARTER OF A CENTS REE AND
I THOUGHT, PARTICULARLY — FOR
MOST OF ITS LIFE, I THOUGHT
“CROSS-FIRE” WAS NOT LIKE THE
CHRIS MATTHEWS SHOW.
ALTHOUGH I SHOULDN’T BE TOO
CRITICAL OF CHRIS MATTHEWS
BECAUSE I BE HAVEN’T SEEN IT IN
YEARS.
IT WAS TERRIBLE WHEN I DID SEE
IT.
BUT, I DON’T BELIEVE IT WAS
ANYTHING LIKE THAT.
IN WRITING MY MEMOIRS, I GOT
SOME OLD TAPES AND TRANSCRIPTS
AND IT WAS SURPRISEINGLY CIVIL
MOST OF ITS CAREER.
IT WAS INTENSE MOST OF ITS
CAREER.
PEOPLE DIDN’T SHOUT OR INTERRUPT
EACH OTHER.
I THINK IT IS A REFORMATION WITH
A LIVE AUDIENCE AND WITH MY
FRIENDS JAMES CARVILLE AND
INAUDIBLE
HAS BECOME MORE DISCORDANT OVER
THE YEARS SNOO ARE YOU DOING THE
SAME IN YOUR MEMOIR, WILL THERE
BE NEW INFORMATION WE HAVE NEVER
HEARD BEFORE?
>> Guest: YES, THERE WILL BE.
THERE WILL BE A LOT OF NEW
INFORMATIONS.
I’M REVEALING SOME SOURCES.
I DON’T REVEAL ALL MY SOURCES.
I REVEAL SOME.
I’M GOING TO MAKE A LOT OF
PEOPLE MAD, BUT — THEY’RE GOING
TO MAKE A LOT OF PEOPLE MAD, MR.
LAMB, BUT MOST OF THEM ARE DEAD.
SO, THEY CAN’T PROTEST.
>> Host: YOU’VE BEEN AROUND THIS
EARTH SINCE FEBRUARY OF 1931
MAKING YOU ABOUT 75 YEARS OLD.
HOW MUCH LONGER ARE YOU GOING TO
DO THIS?
>> Guest: WELL, I THOUGHT I
WOULD HAVE STOPPED LONG AGO, BUT
I HAVE NO RETIREMENT PLANS.
I DON’T HAVE ANY HOBBIES EXCEPT
GOING TO SPORTS EVENTS AND YOU
CAN’T DO THAT FULL-TIME.
SO, I DON’T THINK I’LL EVER
STOP.
I THINK YOU’LL — I HAD THOUGHT
MY MEMOIRS, I WOULD TELL
EVERYTHING AND MAKE EVERYBODY
MAD AND GO INTO THE GRAVE THAT
WAY.
BUT, I’M GOING TO KEEP GOING
AND, AS LONG AS PEOPLE WILL
LISTEN TO ME AND I’M NOTW A
CONTRIBUTOR WITH FOX NETWORK,
THEY’VE BEEN VERY NICE TO ME AND
STILL KEEPING MY COLUMN STILL
GOING.
NOT AS BUSY AS I USED TO BE
BUT —
>> Caller: MR. NOVAK, I FORGET
WHERE I READ IT, WASN’T IT TRUE
JOE WILSON ACTUALLY OUTED HIS
WIFE IN HIS BIO IN “WHO’S WHO”?
ECHLT WELL, LET ME TELL YOU THE
FULL STORY ON THAT.
WHEN I — WHEN I TALKED TO MR.
ARMITAGE AND GOT THE FACT THAT
HIS WIFE WAS — WORKED FOR THE
CIA AND SUGGESTED THE MISSION
AND THEN GOT A CONFIRMATION, A
ONE-SENTENCE CONFIRMATION FROM
ROVE AND THEN TALKED ABOUT HIM
IN — FROM MR. HARLOEWE FROM THE
CIA, WHO CONFIRMED WITH THE CI I
A, I NEVER GOT HER NAME.
NOBODY TOLD ME HER NAME.
SO, I AS AN INTRE PD ID REPORTER
GOT A COPY OF “WHO’S WHO” AND
THERE WAS HER NAME, VALERIE
PLAME SO I PUT IT ON.
>> Host: CHARLESTOWN, RHODE
ISLAND ON WITH BOB NOVAK.
>> Caller: I’M CALLING TO SAY
HOW MUCH I’VE REALLY ENJOYED MR.
NOVAK AND BEING ON “CROSS-FIRE”
AND “CAPITAL GANG.”
I WAS BORN IN 1932, SO WE ARE
ABOUT THE SAME GENERATION AND
WENT THROUGH AND THIS BUSINESS
ABOUT VALERIE PLAME, IT SEEMS SO
DRY TO ME COMPARED TO WAYNE
HAYES AND ANNABELLA ANNASTELLA,
I THOUGHT THAT WAS A RIOT.
>> Guest: MORE FUN, WASN’T IT?
>> Caller: ANOTHER THING I
WANTED TO MENTION YOUR COMMENTS
ABOUT JANET RENO.
I THOUGHT TO HAVE THAT PICTURE
GOING AROUND FOR THE WORLD FOR
OUR COUNTRY WAS, I MEAN, WAS
JUST TERRIBLE.
I MEAN, WHERE IS THE RULE OF
LAW?
THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT.
WELL, THAT’S ALL I WANTED TO
SAY.
THANK YOU.
>> Guest: THANK YOU.
I AGREE WITH YOU SNOO MR. NOVAK,
AFTER — THERE HAVE BEEN SOME
DEEP FEELINGS ON ALL THIS
SUBJECT IN THE LAST COUPLE
YEARS.
ARE THERE PEOPLE THAT IN LONGER
TALK TO ABOUT THIS?
HUH THE DIFFICULTY WITH CNN, YOU
LEFT THERE.
ARE YOU ANGRY ABOUT MUCH OF THIS
STUFF?
>> Guest: NO, I’M NOT ANGRY, I’M
NOT ANGRY AT ALL.
I’VE HAD A BLESSED, CHARMED LIFE
AND I THINK I’VE BEEN VINDICATED
ON THIS STORY.
JUST TO CORRECT YOU SLIGHTLY.
ON CNN, MY CONTRACT EXPIRED ON
JANUARY 1st, 2006, AFTER 25
YEARS, HAD BEEN RENEWED
REPEATEDLY OVER THOSE YEARS.
I WANTED TO LEAVE CNN.
I THOUGHT THE TIME HAD COME TO
GO AND THEY WANTED ME TO LEAVE
SO IT WAS A MUTUAL, HARMONIOUS
PARTING.
THEY DIDN’T SAY I HAD TO GO.
IN THE ISIKOFF-CORN BOOK,
THERE’S AN IMPLICATION — I’M
SORRY, THERE IS ANOTHER BOOK, I
WON’T PUBLICIZE IT, INDICATING I
WAS FIRED BUT IT WAS MUTUAL
FEELING.
I WOULD SAY THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO
I WAS VERY DISAPPOINTED IN, WHO
ATTACKED ME ON THIS — ON THIS
STORY.
I’M NOT GOING TO GO INTO DETAIL
ON THIS PROGRAM THIS MORNING.
I WILL SAY, TOO, THAT, BECAUSE
OF THIS STORY, MY CONTACTS WITH
THE ADMINISTRATION WERE REDUCED
BY THE — BY THE CHOICE OF THE
WHITE HOUSE AND BY THE CHOICE OF
THE ADMINISTRATION.
NOT ENTIRELY BY ANY MEANS.
I HAVE VERY GOOD CONTACTS THERE
BUT THERE WERE SOME CONTACTS
THAT WERE COMPLETELY SEVERED.
I THOUGHT TA WAS A MISTAKE ON
THEIR PART BUT THAT’S THEIR
CHOICE.
I HAVE LIVED THROUGH A LOT OF AD
PENSTRATIONS, BRIAN, AN HAD VERY
SLENDER CONTACT WITH A LOT OF
THEM BUT YOU CAN ALWAYS FINE
SOME WAYS TO GET THE NEWS.
I STILL HAVE THAT.
I THINK PROBABLY THE LOW POINT
IN MY CONTACTS WAS TOWARDS THE
END OF THE CARTER ADMINISTRATION
WHEN NOBODY WAS TALKING TO ME
AND I STILL GOT A LOT OF NEWS
OUT OF IT, NEWS THEY DIDN’T WANT
TOLD.
SO, I’M NOT THE KIND OF REPORTER
THAT NEEDS HIGH-LEVEL ACCESS.
I CAN PROSPER WITH LOW-LEVEL
ACCESS AND SO I’M NOT — NIP NOT
BITTER AND UNHAPPY.
THE ONLY THING I REGRET IS
HAVING TO PAY THE LEGAL FEES
BUT, LUCKILY I WAS ABLE TO
ABSORB THEM.
>> Host: KITTYHAWK, NORTH
CAROLINA FOR BOB NOVAK.
>> Caller: GOOD MORNING.
MY QUESTION IS IN MR. FITZGERALD
KNEW FROM THE BEGINNING WHO THE
LEAKER WAS, WHY GO THROUGH THIS
WHOLE EXERCISE?
>> Guest: WELL, I IMAGINE HE
WOULD TELL YOU HE WAS TRYING TO
FIND WHETHER THERE WAS A PERIOD,
A CONSPIRACY GOING, THAT THERE
WAS SOME KIND OF A PLOT THAT
INVOLVED THE VICE PRESIDENT’S
OFFICE AND KARL ROVE AND
GOODNESS KNOWS ALL THINGS ALL
WORKING TOGETHER IN SOME
SINISTER PLOT.
THAT’S THE WAY LAWYERS ARE AND
PARTICULARLY INDEPENDENT
COUNSEL, SPECIAL COUNSELS,
BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE ANYBODY
REVIEWING THEIR JUDGMENTS.
THEY ARE ALL UNTO THEMSELVES.
AND PERHAPS MR. FITZGERALD
WAS — DID THE RIGHT THING, I
DON’T KNOW.
IT CAUSED A LOT OF PEOPLE PAIN
BUT I WOULD SAY THIS WOULD BE
THE RATIONALE.
OF COURSE, HE IS CONTINUING THE
SESGATION TO FIND IF THERE WAS A
CONSPIRACY AT WORK AND IT WASN’T
JUST POOR OLD ARMITAGE GIVING ME
THIS INFORMATION.
>> Host: KATHLEEN OF ATHENS,
OHIO WRITES THIS MORNING HOW CAN
ARMITAGE BE THE FIRST LEAKER
WHEN “SCOOTER” LIBBY LEAKED
INFORMATION ABOUT VERY REEALERIE
WILSON/PLAME TO JUDITH MILLER OF.
>> Guest: THIS IS PART OF THE
DESPERATE ATTEMPT TO TRY TO
ENGAGE THIS AS A WHITE HOUSE
PLOT.
THE ONLY PERSON, THE FIRST
REVELATION OF THIS STORY WAS BY
ME.
AND I CAN’T — I CAN’T DEAL WITH
STORIES THAT DIDN’T GET WRITTEN.
SO, THIS WAS MY FIRST SOURCE.
IT WAS THE FIRST SOURCE THAT
APPEARED IN PRINT AND IT WAS THE
SOURCE THAT CREATED THE
APPOINTMENT BY THE JUSTICE
DEPARTMENT OF THE SPECIAL
PROSECUTOR.
THAT’S WHAT THEY APPOINTED HIM
FOR, TO LOOK INTO THE LEAK THAT
APPEARED IN MY COLUMN.
>> Host: WOULD MR. FITZGERALD
HAD CONTINUED THE INVESTIGATION
BECAUSE HE FOUND THAT BOB
WOODRUFF HAD BEEN GIVEN THIS
INFORMATION BEFORE YOU HAD
GOTTEN IT AND IN THE WHITE HOUSE
THEY HAD BEEN SPREADING THIS
WORLD BEFORE YOU TOLD IT, WOULD
THAT POSSIBLY BE THE REASON WHY
HE WOULD HAVE CONTINUED IT?
>> Guest: WELL, HE DIDN’T KNOW
ABOUT WOODWARD FOR SOME TIME TO
COME, AFTER HE HAD GONE FAR
AFIELD ON THIS INVESTIGATION.
I RATHER — I THINK MR.
FITZGERALD IS A MAN OF
INTEGRITY, NOT A POLITICAL
PERSON AT ALL.
I REGRET THAT HE CARRIED THIS
THIS FAR BUT I DON’T QUESTION
HIS INTEGRITY OR I DON’T
QUESTION HIS DESIRE TO DO THE
RIGHT THING.
BUT, I CERTAINLY CAN’T INTERPRET
WHY HE WOULD OR WHAT HE WOULD
HAVE DONE UNDER HYPE CAL
CIRCUMSTANCES.
>> Host: HOUSTON, TEXAS GO
AHEAD, PLEASE.
>> Caller: HELLO, MY NAME IS
BRENDAN RYAN FROM HOUSTON, TEXAS
AND I WATCHED A LOT OF
“CROSS-FIRE” WHEN I WAS A KID.
I’M ONLY 24 YEARS OLD, BUT I HAD
WATCHED “CROSS-FIRE” FOR ABOUT
AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER.
AND I DON’T THINK THAT CHRIS
MATTHEWS DOES ANY JUSTICE TO THE
AMERICAN PEOPLE, AS FAR AS
INFORMATIVE — INFORMATION ON ON
POLITICS AND WHAT’S GOING ON IN
WASHINGTON.
I THINK “CROSS-FIRE” WAS A MUCH
DIFFERENT SHOW.
IT OFFERED MUCH BETTER DEPTH
INTO POLITICS IN WASHINGTON AND
THAT I WOULD JUST SAY THAT THERE
NEEDS — THERE NEEDS TO BE
ANOTHER SHOW LIKE “CROSS-FIRE”.
>> Host: THANKS.
MR. NOVAK.
>> Guest: THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
>> Host: THAT BRINGS UP THE
QUESTION HOW MUCH TELEVISION DO
YOU WATCH, WHAT OTHER SHOWS DO
YOU WATCH AND DO YOU SPENDS MUCH
TIME IN FRONT OF THAT TUBE?
>> Guest: WELL, I HAVE A —
YEAH, I DO SPEN A LOT OF TIME.
I’M ABLE TO DO, WHAT’S THE FANCY
TERM NOW, MULTI-TASK.
I’M ABLE TO WRITE AND TALK ON
THE TELEPHONE AND WATCH
TELEVISION AT THE SAME TIME.
PRETTY GOOD FOR AN OLD MAN,
ISN’T IT, BRIAN?
I HAVE A TELEVISION SET RIGHT
NEXT TO MY TERMINAL AT WORK AND
I HAVE ONE NEXT TO MY TERMINAL
AT HOME.
AND, I DO A LOT OF C-SPAN
WATCHING.
I REALLY ENJOY.
I WATCH — I WATCH THE SENATE
AND HOUSE, PARTICULARLY THE
SENATE.
I GET A LOT OF STORY IDEAS FROM
THAT AND WATCH OF C-SPAN AND
WATCH THE CABLE NETWORKS
CONSIDERABLY.
BUT, I DON’T — I DONT’T WATCH —
I HAVE A LOT OF PROBLEMS WITH
CHRIS MATTHEWS, WHICH I WON’T GO
INTO.
THIS IS NOT THE CHRIS MATTHEWS
SHOW, BUT I JUST DON’T WATCH
THAT PROGRAM.
AND I CERTAINLY, IF SOMEBODY
MENTIONED THE JOHN STEWART
PROGRAM, I’VE NEVER SEEN THAT IN
MY LIFE AND I WILL GO TO MY
GRAVE NEVER HAVING SEEN IT.
>> Host: WHY?
>> Guest: I DON’T — I DON’T SEE
ANY REASON FOR IT.
IT’S A COMEDIAN, SELF-RIGHTEOUS
COMEDIAN TAKING ON AIRS OF GRANDEUR
AND I REALLY DON’T NEED
THAT.
POLITICIANS ARE FUNNY ENOUGH
WITHOUT A PROFESSIONAL COMIC.
>> Host: LAKE CITY, TENNESSEE.
GOOD MORNING.
WE DON’T HAVE LAKE CITY.
WE HAVE GASTON, ALABAMA.
YOU’RE ON THE AIR.
>> Caller: THIS IS THIS ME?
>> Host: THAT’S YOU, GO AHEAD,
SIR.
>> Caller: WELL, MR. NOVAK SAID
HE LEFT CNN AND HE WAS KIND OF
GLAD OF IT.
I SUPPOSE HE’S PROUD TO BE WITH
FOX.
HE OUGHT TO BE RIGHT AT HOME
WITH THAT NETWORK.
HE DIDN’T LIKE CHRIS MATTHEWS,
BUT I’LL BET HE LIKES OLD SHAWN
HANNITY, THE WAY HE INTERVIEWS
HIS GUEST AND SAYS YOU SAY WHAT
I WANT YOU TO SAY OR EITHER SHUT
UP AND BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.
THAT’S ALL I GOT TO SAY.
>> Host: MR. NOVAK?
>> Guest: I SAY MR. HANNITY,
YES, I DO LIKE HIM, A VERY PERCEPTIVE
CALLER.
I
— PERCEPTIVE CALLER.
I BELIEVE HE HAS A COUNTERPART,
MR. COLMES AND THEY DO A GOOD
JOB WITH THE STORIES.
>> Host: LAST CALLER.
>> Caller: I ADMIRE YOU SO MUCH
WHAT HAS SAID DID YOU AND YOU’RE
RIGHT ABOUT THE DEMOCRATS
CALLING IN ON THE LINE.
THEY SAY I’M A REPUBLICAN BUT
AND VALERIE PLANE AND JOE WILSON
SHOULD BE SHUNNED, AT ALL THIS
VOSHL EVENTS AND NOT WORRIED
ABOUT BEING ASSASSINATED LIKE
SHE SAID.
SHE WAS NOT COVERT.
SHE WANTED TO GET HIM OUT OF
TIME AND HE SAT OVER THERE LIKE
HE SAID HIMSELF AND DRANK TEA
WITH HIS FRIENDS AND SHE QUITS
HER JOB BECAUSE I’M SURE DAVID
CORN AND HE’S A NASTY LITTLE
MOUTH AND HIS MOUTH REMINDS OF
TWO TOILET SEATS FLAPPING
TOGETHER.
I’M SURE HE TOLD THEM THEY WOULD
GET BUCKS.
MOTHERS NEED YOU WHEN THEY ARE
AT HOME NOT OFF AT SCHOOL.
>> Guest: WELL, THANK YOU.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
YOU KNOW THE, A LOT OF PEOPLE
HAVE, A CONSIDERABLE NUMBER OF
PEOPLE COULDN’T GET THE
EDITORIAL PAGE OF “THE
WASHINGTON POST” OR “THE WALL
STREET JOURNAL” HAVE COMMENTED
THAT THIS IS KIND OF THE END OF
THE ADMISSIONS BY MR. ARMITAGE,
THE REVELATION OF MR. ARMITAGE,
KIND OF ENDS THIS WHOLE STORY.
IT’S THE — IT WAS BLOWN OUT,
WAY OUT OF PROPORTION.
BUT THE WILSONS LOOK VERY BAD.
I HAVEN’T WRITTEN THAT, THAT
COLUMN, BECAUSE I’M, TO A
CERTAIN EXTENT, A PARTY TO THIS
CASE.
WHAT I HAVE TRIED TO DO IS TELL
ALL THE THINGS I COULD DO TELL.
NOW I CAN TELL JUST ABOUT
EVERYTHING I KNOW ABOUT THE
CASE, AND I HAVE.
AND I HOPE I ADDED TO THE
UNDERSTANDING.
BUT, THAT THIS IS — THIS WAS A
CASE THAT WAS BLOWN OUT OF
PROPORTION, I BELIEVE, TO TRY TO
DESTROY PRESIDENT BUSH.
THERE’S A LOT — A MARKED LACK
OF INTEREST BY DEMOCRATS RIGHT
NOW IN THE ARMITAGE REVELATION.
THEY DON’T TALK ABOUT IT.
THEY DON’T ADMIT THEY’RE WRONG.
AND FINE PEOPLE LIKE MR. CORN
ARE DESPERATELY TRYING TO SAY
THE ORIGINAL STORY WAS CORRECT.
BUT, I ALMOST THINK THIS STORY
IS OVER, BELATEDLY AND WITH VERY
GOOD REASONS.
>> Host: THIS MORNING AT 11:15
IN THE ROSE GARDEN SA PRESS
CONFERENCE WITH PRESIDENT BUSH.
NO INDICATION WHAT THE TOPIC IS.
ALTHOUGH SOME THINK IT MIGHT BE
ABOUT DETAINEE LEGISLATION IN
CONGRESS.
FINAL QUESTION TO YOU.
WITH THIS LETTER THAT COLIN
POWELL HAS WRITTEN TO JOHN
McCAIN AND WITH ONE OF HIS TOP
AIDES, LIEUTENANT COLONEL OUT ON
THE TALK SHOW CIRCUIT SAYING
NEGATIVE THINGS ABOUT THE
ADMINISTRATION AND WITH THE FACT
THAT THE RICHARD ARMITAGE WAS
LEAKING THIS INFORMATION TO YOU,
DO YOU THINK THAT COLIN POWELL
WILL EVER BREAK WITH THIS
PRESIDENT PUBLICLY AND DENOUNCE
THIS WAR?
>> Guest: I DON’T THINK HE WILL.
THAT’S JUST A GUESS ON MY PART.
I LIKE GENERAL POWELL.
I TALK TO HIM OCCASIONAL LYLY.
I THOUGHT HE WAS RIGHT IN BEING
CAUTIOUS ON THE ADVANCE POLICIES
OF THE ADMINISTRATION CONCERNING
IRAQ AND THOUGHT HE WAS WRONG
WHEN HE WENT TO THE UNITED
NATIONS TALKING ABOUT THE
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.
I DIDN’T THINK HE HAD THE GOODS
THEN.
THESE THINGS ARE NOT THAT EASY.
NOT EVERY CONSERVATIVE IS A
WARHAWK.
NOT EVERY LIBERAL IS A TRAITOR.
BUT, I THINK THAT COLIN POWELL
IS A MILITARY MAN AND I BELIEVE
HE’S A LOYAL — HE BELIEVES IN
LEAKING THIS INFORMATION TO YOU,
DO YOU THINK THAT COLIN POWELL
WILL EVER BREAK WITH THIS
PRESIDENT PUBLICLY AND DENOUNCE
THIS WAR?
>> Guest: I DON’T THINK HE WILL.
THAT’S JUST A GUESS ON MY PART.
I LIKE GENERAL POWELL.
I TALK TO HIM OCCASIONAL LYLY.
I THOUGHT HE WAS RIGHT IN BEING
CAUTIOUS ON THE ADVANCE POLICIES
OF THE ADMINISTRATION CONCERNING
IRAQ AND THOUGHT HE WAS WRONG
WHEN HE WENT TO THE UNITED
NATIONS TALKING ABOUT THE
WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION.
I DIDN’T THINK HE HAD THE GOODS
THEN.
THESE THINGS ARE NOT THAT EASY.
NOT EVERY CONSERVATIVE IS A
WARHAWK.
NOT EVERY LIBERAL IS A TRAITOR.
BUT, I THINK THAT COLIN POWELL
IS A MILITARY MAN AND I BELIEVE
HE’S A LOYAL — HE BELIEVES IN
LOYALTY.
I THINK HE’S BEEN VERY CAREFUL,
CERTAINLY NOT TO CRITICIZE THE
PRESIDENT WHILE HE IS IN —
WHILE HE’S STILL IN OFFICE.
AFTER PRESIDENT BUSH LEAVES
OFFICE MIGHT BE ANOTHER MATTER.
BUT, BREAKING WITH THE PRESIDENT
WHILE HE’S STILL IN THE OVAL
OFFICE I WOULD GUESS WOULD BE
HIGHLY UNLIKELY ON COLIN
POWELL’S PART.
>> Host: THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
BOB NOVAK.
HAVE AN ENJOYABLE WEEKEND AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS.
WE HOPE TO SEE YOU AGAIN SOON.
>> Guest: THANK YOU.
>> Host: THAT’S IT FOR TODAY.
HAVE A NICE WEEKEND.
AND C-SPAN WILL HAVE ITS REGULAR
“WASHINGTON JOURNAL” TOMORROW
MORNING AT 7:00 AND THE
PRESIDENT’S NEWS CONFERENCE AT
11:15.