Q When did they ask you to stop commenting on it, Scott? Can you peg down a date?
McCLELLAN: Back at that time period.
Q Well, then the President commented on it nine months later. So was he not following the White House plan?
McCLELLAN: John, I appreciate your questions. You can keep asking them, but you have my response. Go ahead, Dave.
Q We are going to keep asking them. When did the President learn that Karl Rove had had a conversation with the President — with a news reporter about the involvement of Joseph Wilson's wife and the decision to send ...
McCLELLAN: I've responded to the questions.
Q When did the President learn that Karl Rove had ...
McCLELLAN: I've responded to the questions, Dick. Go ahead.
Q After the investigation is completed, will you then be consistent with your word and the President's word that anybody who was involved would be let go?
McCLELLAN: Again, after the investigation is complete, I will be glad to talk about it at that point.
Q And a follow-up. Can you walk us through why, given the fact that Rove's lawyer has spoken publicly about this, it is inconsistent with the investigation, that it compromises the investigation to talk about the involvement of Karl Rove, the Deputy Chief of Staff?
McCLELLAN: Well, those overseeing the investigation expressed a preference to us that we not get into commenting on the investigation while it's ongoing. And that was what they requested of the White House. And so I think in order to be helpful to that investigation, we are following their direction.
Q Scott, there's a difference between commenting on an investigation and taking an action ...
What followed was a question about a Pakistani television report on Osama bin Laden's whereabouts. McClellan, eager to change the subject, gave a long answer about the London bombings and our continued fight against terrorism.
But soon, the press corps was after McClellan again.
Q Does the President continue to have confidence in Mr. Rove?
McCLELLAN: Again, these are all questions coming up in the context of an ongoing criminal investigation. And you've heard my response on this.
Q So you're not going to respond as to whether or not the President has confidence in his Deputy Chief of Staff?
McCLELLAN: Carl, you're asking this question in the context of an ongoing investigation. And I would not read anything into it other than I'm simply not going to comment on an ongoing ...