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Rove On Whether He'll Answer Questions About His Potentially Illegal Acts: ‘Nice Try'

Think Progress | August 20, 2007

On the Sunday shows this morning, Karl Rove was treated largely with kid gloves by the hosts and was not forced to confront many difficult questions about his ethical improprieties while serving in the White House.

In three Sunday show appearances, he was not asked once about his efforts to politicize the federal government, despite the fact that a front-page article appeared on that very subject this morning in the Washington Post . Rove was also not asked about his role in selling the war prior to the invasion. Nor was he asked about his connections to Jack Abramoff , his use of non-White House email accounts , or his stewardship over the Katrina reconstruction efforts.

On Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace attempted to press Rove on two troubling aspects of Rove's record: his outing of Valerie Plame and his efforts to dismiss U.S. attorneys who refused to comply with the White House's political orders . When Wallace tried to press for answers on these issues, Rove repeatedly answered, “Nice try”:

WALLACE: Why did you push to fire some U.S. attorneys in the president's second term?

ROVE: Nice try.

[…]

WALLACE: What do you think of Joe Wilson?

ROVE: I'm not going to comment. Nice try.

[…]

WALLACE: When was the first time you told the president [about leaking Plame's identity]?

ROVE: I'm not going to — again, nice try.

Watch a compilation:

Unable to generate substantive answers to legitimate questions, Wallace backed off and moved to other questions.

At the conclusion of the interview, Rove acknowledged that his unwillingness to be candid would intensify congressional pressure on him. “Let's face it. I mean, I'm a myth, and they're — you know, I'm Beowulf. You know, I'm Grendel. I don't know who I am. But they're after me,” Rove said.

Transcript:

WALLACE: The Constitution does not prevent you from speaking to me so, in fact, I'll ask you some questions.

Why did you push to fire some U.S. attorneys in the president's second term?

ROVE: Nice try. You — the president has prerogatives that stand up not only to Congress, but also to you.

WALLACE: Well, I'm simply asking you what you did.

ROVE: And what I advised the president is protected by that prerogative. Nice try, Chris.

[…]

WALLACE: What do you think of Joe Wilson?

ROVE: I'm not going to comment. Nice try.

WALLACE: Finally…

ROVE: What do you think about Mr. Wilson?

WALLACE: Nice try.

[…]

WALLACE: When was the first time you told the president?

ROVE: I'm not going to — again, nice try. I've said I'm not going to — there is a civil lawsuit. I'm not going to expand the public record.

 

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