Press Secretary May Be Ready to Leave the Circus

By Dana Milbank
Friday, August 31, 2007

White House press secretary Tony Snow sounds as if he's had about enough.

At yesterday's press briefing, CBS News's Bill Plante asked about a new report by the Government Accountability Office showing problems in Iraq.

"There are a lot of reports," said Snow. "It's a season of reports."

CNN's Ed Henry inquired about the "16 spy agencies" that wrote a National Intelligence Estimate.

"Sixteen spy agencies?" Snow answered reproachfully. "You're talking about intelligence agencies."

And don't even bother asking him about Sen. Larry Craig. "Thank you for the question," the spokesman spoke. "I've already given my answer."

"No, you didn't," pointed out April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks.

"Yes, I did," Snow retorted, then reconsidered. "Okay, I gave the answer I'm going to give."

Plante detected a bit of snippiness. "Your tolerance level seems to be slipping," the veteran newsman observed.

"Really?" Snow replied. "Am I getting cranky like you? Wow."

Snow said earlier this month that he'll be leaving his position before the president has left his. But he hasn't said when.

When The Post's Michael Fletcher asked him about the truth of reports that Snow would be departing before the end of the year, Snow advised Fletcher to "stand down" and added a hoary cliche: "When I have something to announce, I'll let everyone know."

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