TOWOIT #321: Mar-a-laggle Gaggle

April 16, 2018 (Two days ago)

Nice week for no real televised press briefing, isn’t it?

Questions asked on Air Force 1 en route to Miami, no reporter names in the transcript:

  • Is the President going to have more Russia sanctions today?
  • Sarah, do you know if the President watched the Comey interview last night?
  • What was his reaction?
  • Just on Syria — over the weekend, Macron said that he talked to the President and convinced him to double-down on the U.S.’s commitment to Syria. In light of his talk of a sustained commitment over the weekend, what is the U.S.’s commitment to Syria right now?
  • Sarah, was President Macron mischaracterizing his conversation with the President?
  • At the NSC meeting, he talked about bringing them home in about six months. Is that still operative?
  • What was the reason for Jon Lerner’s withdrawal from being the VP’s national security advisor?
  • Sarah, is the President inclined to fire Rod Rosenstein? Has his thinking on that changed?
  • Did the President learn about the Lerner appointment in the media? Or where did the President learn that Lerner was —
  • Was he surprised by it?

MS. SANDERS:  Look, he’s a member of the administration.  He’s still continuing to serve in a capacity with Ambassador Haley, and that hasn’t changed.

  • Sarah, there was a report that the President was unhappy that 60 Russian diplomats were expelled — that he wasn’t happy with that number. He thought that the U.S. was much higher than other countries. Is that report accurate? What’s the President’s response to that idea of expelling 60 diplomats?
  • And is Putin still welcome for a White House summit? Is that still on the table?
  • Sarah, is Michael Cohen still the President’s personal attorney?
  • And so when it comes to the court case today in New York, the President would like to keep his communications with Michael Cohen privileged and confidential?
  • Going back to the Syria air strikes, was the President pushing for options that would have included hitting Russian and Iranian targets in Syria?
  • The President tweeted earlier today about Andy McCabe. I’m just wondering if he still thinks that the way that his firing was handled by the Attorney General is satisfying, or does he want more action to be taken against Andy McCabe based on the reports —
  • Sarah, can you talk a little bit about the meeting with Abe?
  • Can you preview the meeting with Abe a little bit for us?
  • Trade, including maybe rejoining the TPP?
  • Speaking of trade, the President tweeted about China as a currency manipulator this morning. Why hasn’t he officially labeled China a currency manipulator like he promised to during the campaign?
  • Is he still considering it? I mean, is this something he still wants to do?


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