TOWOIT #252

October 12, 2017… Day 266

Honestly, I don’t know what day it is anymore.

  1. I love Roxane Gay more all the time
  2. Bernie is the opening speaker for the Women’s Convention (???)
  3. Life starts at conception now
  4. We’re not in UNESCO anymore
  5. FEMA can’t stay in Puerto Rico forever, you know
  6. Something something terrible headline about healthcare executive order
  7. John Kelly is not quitting today.

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Here’s questions that reporters asked him at the jokesy briefing:

  • General Kelly, if I could, you said you’re not so frustrated that you’re thinking of leaving. But are you frustrated?
  • Thank you, General Kelly. I appreciate that, and thank you for coming out here today. We hope to see you more often. Let’s go to one of the hard things that is facing you right now, the situation in Puerto Rico. And since you’re here to speak for the President, let’s talk about his tweet this morning. Does President Trump believe that the people of Puerto Rico are American citizens
  • — who deserve the same access to federal aid as people who live in Texas and Florida?
  • What is his tweet about then?
  • The tweet where he says that we can’t be in Puerto Rico forever.
  • He did. Yes. First responders, FEMA, and the military.
  • I’m Doug (inaudible) with Christian News and Christian Newspaper Association. And in light of the President in support of pulling out of UNESCO, what would the President’s response, you know, to UNRWA funding — which is a U.N. agency that has been in the schools specifically inciting kids to violence against the Jews and our tax dollars going into that. Do you have statement about, in light of UNESCO pulling out, about UNRWA?
  • The follow-up to that would be, the Prime Minister just came out today — there was a release, the government press office in Israel — the Prime Minister welcomed the withdrawal from UNESCO. And I had met with the Prime Minister of Israel in May about UNRWA, and he’s very concerned. He made a statement in the Jerusalem Post not too long ago denouncing UNRWA, so I thought it would be —
  • General Kelly, Margaret Brennan from CBS. Thank you very much for coming out and doing this. You focused a lot on process and establishing processes here at the White House. I’m wondering if you can explain —
  • No, but did you?
  • Is that how you see it? You don’t see that you have an iron hand?
  • What is your frustrated face? (Laughter.) But back to the question. Can you explain what the process was with this Pakistan raid? What the President’s involvement was? How you sort of
  • The Pakistan raid to release these Americans who — Caitlan Coleman and her family —
  • The level of the President’s involvement and awareness —
  • As a flag-rank officer, a gentleman with knowledge of world affairs, certainly you know the quote from Prime Minister Macmillan — events, events, events. What are the events that keep you, let’s say, concerned, awake at night, in terms of global affairs?
  • Just to get back to a thing that happened a couple of days ago, the President tweeted, “The problem with agreeing to a policy on immigration is that the Democrats don’t want secure borders, they don’t care about safety for U.S.A.” Do you think that’s a fair characterization?
  • You talk about frustrations. Peel back the curtain for us since you’re in a first-row vantage point with the President. What are his frustrations right now? And secondly, a big decision that’s going to be upcoming is the Fed Chair position possibly here in the next few weeks or upcoming months. Where does that stand? How actively is the administration engaging now at this moment?
  • Me personally?
  • Where does everything stand with the Fed right now? Are you guys days away, weeks away?
  • Thank you. President Trump is —
  • No. (Laughter.)
  • We’re the cannon fodder.
  • We’re the first in line when they start shooting.
  • General Kelly, thank you so much, and thanks for being here today. President Trump in recent days has gotten into a bit of war of words with Senator Bob Corker, the latest Republican who he’s had a public feud with. As his Chief of Staff, are you concerned that he’s jeopardizing his agenda by feuding with members of his own party?
  • Have you talked to Bob Corker? Have you called Bob Corker?
  • But in the wake of this recent fight?
  • And do his tweets make your job more difficult, General Kelly?
  • Does the President believe that the Cuban government is directly responsible for these attacks on Americans? And does the President plan on closing the U.S. Embassy in Cuba? And is the President aware of the visa crisis for Cuban –
  • While we’re waiting for the President to make a decision tomorrow about the Iran nuclear deal, can you talk broadly about the strategy to counter Iran’s nefarious activities in the region? And will you list the Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, as some members of the Congress have suggested?
  • Thank you, General. I wanted to ask you about the effort to repeal and replace Obamacare. As we saw just a few moments ago, the President signed an executive order, an executive order that he says will bring more choices for Americans, will lower premiums for America as well. It’s October the 12th. He’s been in office since January the 20th. Is there any particular reason why he didn’t sign this executive order his first week in office? What’s taken him so long?
  • And my other question, if I may. General, the other question is very important. Do you blame Senator McConnell, the leader of the Senate, for the failure to repeal and replace Obamacare?
  • Thank you very much, sir. First of all, congratulations.
  • For the new job. Sir, as far as U.S.-India relations are concerned, recently, many tragedies have taken place here, and Indian American community and India paid a tribute on 9/11 at the Georgetown University, in cooperation with the Indian embassy and also the Gandhi Center, as far as the tragedy in Las Vegas is concerned. My question is that Indian Ambassador, Mr. Sarna, said the time has come now [for] U.S. and India to stand together against all these terrorism. And same thing — Prime Minister Modi, when he was here at the White House, he told President Trump that India is with the U.S., anytime, anywhere, as far as fighting terrorism. So where do we stand, sir, today as the U.S.-India relations are concerned?
  • Thank you, General Kelly. I have a question about the tweets that’s a big part of this administration. Do they get you by surprise? And are they official statements? And on the war against North Korea, what are the chance — should the American people be worried about a war?
  • Yes.
  • Both. (Laughter.)

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