More evidence damaging to Libby's claim that he learned of Plame's undercover status from Tim Russert. Fleischer says Libby told him about Plame working at the CIA days before Libby spoke with Russert. Got that?
This looks like confirmation that Fleischer was being used by the higher ups in the White House to get the word out on Plame. He wasn't given the usual warning about classified information by Libby when they had their lunch. Message? Go ahead and leak this to the press, get the word out.
Some of the interesting details today:
"He added that this was something hush-hush or on the QT, that not many people knew this information," Fleisher said. "My impression was Mr. Libby was telling me this was kind of newsy."Ari hears that someone's wife works in CIA counterproliferation and nepotism is what springs to mind? How about classified territory and maybe I should be very careful where I'm treading? How about maybe she's doing something of importance for your country and you might not want to publicize that? He may have weighed such questions but in the end:
Added Fleischer: "My thought was that what I was hearing was about nepotism."
Fleischer said he never viewed the information he received about Plame as classified or secret, because the protocol in the White House was that press aides would be warned explicitly when information was classified and could not be used in discussions with reporters.It didn't take Fleischer too long to realize he'd been hung out to dry and he told the government. Good for him. What is that vulgar yet comical expression I've read time and time again throughout the course of the CIA leak matter as the Bush insiders have turned on each other? It's along these lines...Ari in the end decided: "F*%# me? No, F*%# you..."