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BREAKING 5-29-08 Reed Dickens: "...perplexed, hurt" by McClellan's Book Criticizing Pres. Bush
Friday, May 30, 2008 2:49am

LOS ANGELES, CA From CNN (By: Tom Pace, Talk of the Town) BREAKING: WHITE HOUSE POLITICS 5:45pm 5-29-08 Former White House Assistant Press Secretary Reed Dickens was "...perplexed, and hurt somewhat," by Scott McClennan's soon-to-be released book criticizing President Bush. 

Dickens was part of a panel on CNN's Larry King Live television broadcast Wednesday night, all who shared disbelief in the wake of McClellan's charges.

A former LSU-S grad from Shreveport, Louisiana, Dickens served as Assistant Press Secretary part of the time under McClennan. Click here to watch Dickens and radio talk show host Mike Reagan on the CNN broadcast with Larry King, May 28th.

"Scott was hired (by President Bush) because he was loyal," Dickens said on CNN's Larry King Live.  Dickens added, he was "...perplexed and hurt," by McClennan choosing to come out against the President at this time. 

According to CNN, an excerpt from McClellan's 341 page book to be released Monday, paints the Bush administration of being mired in propaganda and political spin, and at times playing loose with the truth.

Scott McClellan writes on the war in Iraq that Bush "and his advisers confused the propaganda campaign with the high level of candor and honesty so fundamentally needed to build and then sustain public support during a time of war."

"[I]n this regard, he was terribly ill-served by his top advisers, especially those involved directly in national security," McClellan wrote.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino called McClellan's description of his time at the White House "sad."  Read excerpts from the book

"Scott, we now know, is disgruntled about his experience at the White House," Perino said. "For those of us who fully supported him, before, during and after he was press secretary, we are puzzled. It is sad. This is not the Scott we knew."

Former White House counselor Dan Bartlett said that Bush's aides are "bewildered and puzzled" by the allegations in McClellan's book.

"We're hearing from a completely different person we didn't have any insight into," he said.  "What did he really believe when he was serving as press secretary?" Bartlett asked.

Former White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, McClellan's predecessor, said in a statement "something about this book that just doesn't make any sense" and that he was "heartbroken that Scott feels this way about his time at the White House."

"For 2 1/2 years Scott and I worked shoulder to shoulder at the White House. Scott was my always reliable, solid deputy," Fleischer said. "Not once did Scott approach me -- privately or publicly -- to discuss any misgivings he had about the war in Iraq or the manner in which the White House made the case for war.

"If Scott had such deep misgivings, he should not have accepted the press secretary position as a matter of principle," he said.  

A former spokesman for Bush when he was governor of Texas, McClellan was named White House press secretary in 2003, replacing Fleischer. McClellan had previously been a deputy press secretary and was the traveling spokesman for the Bush campaign during the 2000 election.

He announced he was resigning in April 2006 at a news conference with Bush.


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