CHENEY SPEAKS….Dick Cheney’s interview a few minutes ago with Brit Hume was, like the rest of this whole story, bizarre.
First, Cheney acknowledged that the White House wanted him to issue a statement Saturday night, but he refused. “That was my call, all the way,” he said. Translation: he doesn’t take guidance from the White House. They take guidance from him.
Second, he said that he had held up issuing a statement because he wanted to make sure Harry Whittington was all right before saying anything. I don’t even know what to make of this. Is he suggesting that his story would have been different if Whittington’s injuries had been more serious? That the White House never issues statements about breaking news until it knows how things are going to turn out? Or what?
Finally, Hume suggested that since this was obviously a national story, Cheney should have informed the national press and gotten the word out sooner. Cheney’s reply: “It isn’t easy to do that. Are they going to take my word for what happened?”
Seriously? Cheney’s story is that his own credibility is so poor that a statement from him would have been worthless? Is he really going to stick to that as his explanation?
And did Cheney ever speak with George Bush about this? Hume never asked. That’s some serious journalism, Brit.
UPDATE: Apparently Hume did ask Cheney whether he had spoken to Bush. It’s not part of the transcript on the Fox News site, but the White House has a full transcript:
Q Had you discussed this with colleagues in the White House, with the President, and so on?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I did not. The White House was notified, but I did not discuss it directly, myself. I talked to Andy Card, I guess it was Sunday morning.
….Q And what about ? when did you first ? when, if ever, have you discussed it with the President?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: I talked to him about it yesterday, or Monday ? first on Monday, and then on Tuesday, too.