You'll recall that in 2003, McClellan himself stated the following in a press conference:
... that suggests White House involvement. There are anonymous reports all the time in the media. The President has set high standards, the highest of standards for people in his administration. He's made it very clear to people in his administration that he expects them to adhere to the highest standards of conduct. If anyone in this administration was involved in it, they would no longer be in this administration.Today on Meet the Press, he said:
MR. RUSSERT: The president said at the time that "if someone committed a crime, they'd no longer work in my administration." Do you believe the president should have fired Karl Rove?Watch the video; the above exchange is about 3 1/2 minutes into the clip.
MR. McCLELLAN: That's a, that's a question that the president had to make, and he chose not to.
MR. RUSSERT: But what do you think?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I, I think he should have stood by his word. I think the president should have stood by the word that we said, which is if you were involved in this any way, then you would no longer be in this administration. And Karl was involved in it. That would be a tough decision. I don't know if, if there was any crime committed. I don't--I say I just don't know that in the book. But we had higher standards at the White House. The president said he was going to restore honor, integrity. He said we were going to set the highest of standards. We didn't live up to that. When it became known that his top adviser had been involved, then the bar was moved. And the bar was moved to "if anyone is indicted, they would no longer be here."
MR. RUSSERT: So you think they should've been dismissed.
MR. McCLELLAN: I think so. I mean, Scooter Libby was, and I, and I think that he should...
MR. RUSSERT: Well, he resigned. But you...
MR. McCLELLAN: Yes. But that was pushed out.
MR. RUSSERT: But you believe Rove--Rove should've, should've left?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think the president should've stood by his word, and that meant Karl should've left.