WH reporters not shocked by McClellan

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Even after Scott McClellan’s publisher released a juicy excerpt from his memoir last November, some of his former combatants in the White House press corps remained skeptical that the longtime Bush loyalist would really open up.

But Newsweek’s White House correspondent Richard Wolffe wasn’t one of them.

“He promised when he first started writing this book that he’d engage in some truth-telling,” said Wolffe, who had spoken to McClellan in recent months. “And that’s what he’s done.”

Since excerpts from McClellan’s forthcoming book, “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception,” were published by Politico on Tuesday evening, most of McClellan’s former White House colleagues have expressed shock at the book’s negative tone.

Those familiar with the inner workings of the Bush White House — from current press secretary Dana Perino to former political guru Karl Rove — have said the book doesn’t sound like the McClellan they knew.

But several of the reporters who jousted with McClellan during his tenure at the briefing room podium from July 2003 to April 2006 — the same group of reporters who McClellan now describes as being “too deferential” in the run-up to invading Iraq — say they are not surprised that the mild-mannered spokesman has lashed out.

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