April 13, 2018 (yesterday, before the announcement of Syrian airstrikes)
(Cecilia Vega, ABC News) Thank you, Sarah. The President came out swinging today, calling James Comey a “liar,” a “leaker,” a “slime ball.” Is he worried about what he’s saying? (Sarah calls Comey a disgraced partisan hack and says firing him will be remembered as one of Trump’s proudest accomplishment)
And another topic, quickly, if I may. The Deputy Attorney General was here yesterday. Is the President going to fire Rod Rosenstein?(Once again, she has no announcements at this time)
(John Roberts, Fox News) Sarah, the President, a short time ago, issued a pardon of Scooter Libby, the former Vice President’s Chief of Staff. There are many people who believe that Scooter Libby was the victim of a Special Counsel investigation run amuck. The recent statements that we have heard from the White House would seem to indicate that you feel much the same thing about the Mueller investigation. Was the President sending some sort of signal to the Mueller investigation or about the Mueller investigation by pardoning Scooter Libby? (It’s time to quite Fox News, John. You’re a propaganda beard)
In the statement, the pardoning statement today, the President acknowledges he doesn’t know Scooter Libby. What was it that convinced him that Scooter Libby deserved a pardon? (Just thought it was the right thing to do)
(Justin Sink, Bloomberg News) Thanks, Sarah. I have two questions. I wanted to ask about the first — The President, at the beginning of the week, said he expected a decision —
Sure. The President, at the beginning of the week, said he expected a decision within 24 to 48 hours on Syria. On Tuesday, he said a decision would probably come that night. But here we are on Friday, and in a statement last night, you said that no final decision had been reached. So I’m wondering if you could walk through why the President hasn’t met his own timeline there, and specifically, if it had anything to do with the, sort of, Syrian troop movement that we saw after his tweet on Wednesday, sort of threatening a missile strike.
And then, because it’s Friday, I’m wondering if —
MS. SANDERS: Friday the 13th.
Yeah. (Laughter.) You could walk us through exactly what the President has–(Jesus stop laughing at her jokes)
MS. SANDERS: You guys all groan like that’s a bad thing.
(Just a bad joke)
— committed to Senator Gardner in terms of both what the Justice Department would do and what the White House would do in terms of supporting legislation on states that legalize marijuana.
(Steve Holland, Reuters) You mentioned he’s spoken to President Macron. How big a coalition does he have for this expected action in Syria?
And is he satisfied now that Syria was responsible for the chemical weapons attack?
(Josh Dawsey, Washington Post) It was reported today that Michael Cohen, the President’s personal attorney, helped negotiate a $1.6 million settlement to a Playboy playmate. It also emerged, today, that Michael Cohen is under criminal investigation by the Southern District of New York. Is the President still associated with Michael Cohen? Does he continue to consider Michael Cohen someone he holds in confidence?
Is he concerned about these developments? Would the President like to say anything about them?
What about Michael Cohen’s actions, though? Does the President have any concern with those?
(Jill Colvin, Associated Press) Just a follow-up on that and then another topic. Is Cohen still the President’s personal attorney? (Sarah says she’d have to check)
And I wanted to ask – (then Sarah interrupts to say she can only speak about White House staff)
It looks like Paul Ryan just endorsed Kevin McCarthy for Speaker in an appearance, or an interview, with Meet the Press. Does the President believe that McCarthy should be the next Speaker?
(Jon Decker, Fox News Radio) On the James Comey book, some excerpts came out today. He speaks of the President — writes about the President in very personal terms. Were you surprised by that? Was the President surprised by that? (It’s time to quite Fox News, Jon. You’re a propaganda beard)
And just really quickly on the pardon that came out today for Scooter Libby. The President, so far in his time in office, has issued three presidential pardons. One of those was to Joe Arpaio. Is there a commonality, in terms of what the President looks for when he pardons individuals?
(Steve Herman, VOA? I’m trying to gauge from the voice and the angle of her gaze which Steve it was.) Yes, Sarah. I’m wondering if the administration has reacted with any message to Moscow after officials there today said that the chemical attack in Douma was faked and staged with Britain’s direct involvement.
(April Ryan, American Urban Radio Networks) Sarah, what part does the President bringing Russia into the Syria equation now cause for the delay in the strike timeline?
(Dave Boyer, Washington Times) Thanks, Sarah. The Justice Department Inspector General came out with his long awaited report this afternoon on former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, saying that he improperly leaked information about the Clinton Foundation investigation to a reporter, and then lied to James Comey about it and, under oath, to two FBI investigators. Do you have a reaction to that? And does that, in your mind, validate the decision to fire McCabe?
(Francesca Chambers, Mail Online) Thank you, Sarah. You said that James Comey was a liar, that he’s a leaker, that he made false representations or claims. Other than what the President tweeted this morning about lying under oath to Senator Grassley, what exactly has he said that’s false or a lie? (When Sarah responds to Comey questions in this briefing, she reads from a screed instead of answering off the cuff. It’s a total doubling-down on the Trump tweets from the morning.)
Sarah, what about the dossier, though? Sarah, what about the dossier? Did he also lie about the dossier in his conversation with President Trump about that? (She doesn’t really answer this question)
(Jim Acosta, CNN) Sarah, what about the content of the President’s attacks on Jim Comey, your attacks on Jim Comey? Isn’t all of that a bit unbecoming of the Presidency of this White House to go after him in such a personal way like that. Calling him a “slime ball” and a “liar” and a “leaker”?
Sarah, if I could just follow up —
Other folks had two questions. If I could just —
— ask a second follow-up question because —
Well, it’s Friday, yeah. And you’ve —
MS. SANDERS: And you’d probably get really upset, and I don’t need that
No, no, no. Not at all. Not at all. (Laughter.) No, but you’ve probably seen this tweet. It was a tweet that you posted before the election in 2016: “When you’re attacking FBI agents because you’re under criminal investigation, you’re losing.” What do you make of that now? Isn’t that —
But when you go after Comey and Rosenstein and Mueller, doesn’t that mean you’re losing? (She doesn’t answer, scolds him briefly for trying to ask another question, moves away to another reporter, and… boom)
Following up with that, I mean, one of the themes of Comey’s book is the President’s “disdain” for the rule of the law and his continued efforts to publicly undermine federal law enforcement officials. So how would you characterize the President’s attitude towards the rule of law and things that he said publicly about many of his top federal law enforcement officials?
But it’s NOT just leakers; it’s his own Attorney General, it’s his own Deputy Attorney General, it’s Special Counsel, it’s the FBI, it’s judges who make decisions that he doesn’t like. There’s a whole list of federal law enforcement officials that he has undermined. It’s not just people who have proven to leak information. (Sarah rails at the press in general for “praising Jim Comey, propping him up” )
(She broke in to say the second part — Sarah had already called on Charlie from Breitbart. I like this reporter’s moxie but I can’t find her full name — she’s from CBS)
(Charlie Spiering, Breitbart) Thank you, Sarah. This morning, James Comey admitted that he didn’t tell the President about the political source —
This morning, James Comey said that he didn’t inform the President of the political source of the dossier. Was the President surprised to hear that? Did Director Comey ever tell him about the sourcing of the political dossier against him?
And a second question, because it’s Friday. Did the President speak to former Vice President Dick Cheney about the Scooter Libby pardon either before or after it —
(John Gizzi, Newsmax) Yeah. Thank you, Sarah. Three Republican state senators from Missouri wrote the President yesterday saying that the embattled Governor Eric Greitens should resign from office. He has serious charges of sexual abuse against him, faces impeachment, and refuses to resign. They concluded that, as a former Navy SEAL, he would salute and resign if his Commander-in-Chief asked him to. Did the President receive the letter? What is his response? And will he ask Governor Greitens to step down?
(Sarah Sorcher, Washington Post) Thank you, Sarah. So, concerning the summit with Prime Minister Abe next week in Florida, does the President plan to push for a bilateral free trade agreement with Japan?
Sarah, does the President have another NSC meeting today on Syria?
Will the President be having another NSC meeting today on Syria?
(Ayesha Rascoe, NPR) Thanks. I wanted to ask about the pardoning process. It seems like we’ve had these three pardons; they all were somewhat high-profile or had gotten media attention. How is the President deciding when to take action on a case? I mean, with Arpaio, he hadn’t been sentenced yet; the Scooter Libby case was very old. So how are you deciding when to take action on these cases? And can a normal person who feels like they’ve been unjustly convicted, can they get their case to the White House? I mean, there’s a Justice Department process, but it seems like the President is taking special interest in certain cases.
(Nadia Bilbassy, Al Arabiya English) Thank you, Sarah. The OPCW is sending inspectors to Syria. Do you think this is a futile exercise, since you already have the evidence that actually they have chemical weapons?
(Brian Bennett, LA Times) Thanks, Sarah. I’ll do two. One on Syria and one on the Department of Justice. On Syria, the President has publicly said that he wants to get out of Syria. Has this strike changed his mind on that? And is he considering other options, other than a plan to pull out U.S. forces from Syria? And if you could just —
(I saw Brian’s face way in the back when she called on him, and I was like “and that’s Brian Bennett” — and then I remarked to myself, “wow, you’re getting good at this — how did you know THAT guy’s name?” And then it dawned on me, sort of like horror, that I know his name because I *KNOW* him, because we went to college together. That just bums me out, because I was in classes with so many successful journalists and writers and media people and sometimes I just feel so lame and obscure.)
Is he considering other options other than a long-term strategy to get U.S. forces out of Syria?
And so I have a question about the Department of Justice. What does the President have to say to Republican lawmakers who believe that firing Mueller would be “suicide,” as Grassley has said, or firing Rosenstein could be the end of the presidency for Donald Trump, as Lindsey Graham has said?
Does he have any response for Republican lawmakers who are counseling him not to take an action like that?
The AP’s Jill Colvin wore a really pretty skirt today. I really relate to her in this picture, an average-looking print journalist sandwiched between the slim, TV-ready ladies down in front. I relate because I work in an office where people look polished and run marathons, and I’m just sort of frumping around the place eating pizza for breakfast. (Apparently self-deprecation is a feature of this post, not a bug.)
(April Ryan inadvertently named Omarosa’s tell-all today)
“So you’re saying that Omarosa Manigault was NOT fired on Tuesday evening, that she DIDN’T get belligerent in her conversation with General Kelly, she WASN’T yelling at him, she WASN’T cursing at him, and she WASN’T escorted off the property?” — Francesca Chambers with my favorite question today
As always, here is today’s White House Press Briefing, annotated a little, with SHS stripped out, because we don’t need her wall of lies. I just like to know what the reporters asked.
(Jonathan Karl, ABC News) Sarah, on the taxes, what is the President’s message to those Americans, including some in the middle class, who will face tax increases under this tax bill?
But the message to those that will face an increase? I mean, every analysis showed some people, including middle-class Americans, are going to face an increase.
(John Roberts, Fox News) On taxes, you got two “no’s” in the Senate so far. You got Senator Corker who’s been a “no” for a while. Senator Rubio came out and told us a short time ago that he’s a “no” unless he can get an expansion of the child tax credit. Is the President willing to be a little more generous in the child tax credit in order to get Senator Rubio’s vote?
Is there more room to move?
(Connie Lawn, USA Radio Network–I think) Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas.
Thank you. What have you learned this past year? And what changes would you make in the coming year?
(Mara Liasson, NPR) Thank you, Sarah. Does the President think that Roy Moore should concede? In other words, does he believe he lost the election fair and square, or does he think he was the victim of widespread illegitimate voting?
So Roy Moore lost fair and square. That’s what you’re saying?
(Jordan Fabian, The Hill) Thanks, Sarah. There’s some reports out this morning that Speaker Ryan is considering stepping down at the end of this Congress. Has the President spoken to Speaker Ryan about those reports? And does he want to see Speaker Ryan continue in that role?
(Blake Burman, Fox Business News) So did this catch the President by surprise, the Ryan report that was out today?
And let me ask you about Marco Rubio, as well. We have heard folks who might be “no” votes, potentially undecided votes. But Marco Rubio’s potential “no” vote is one that we know it concerns, but him voting no is seemingly here suddenly out of left field. Has that caught the White House by surprise at all? Or have you braced for the possibility that you might not have Marco Rubio in your corner?
(April Ryan, American Urban Radio Network) Sarah, two things. Should Roy Moore just give his concession speech now, versus holding it out?
And the second issue: Did you watch GMA this morning? And what are your thoughts about this tell-all and the uncomfortability of Omarosa while she was here with some issues?
(Jeff Zeleny, CNN) Sarah, if she’s resigned and she’s going to —
If she’s resigned, but you said she will stay on — Omarosa will stay on through January 20th — why are the taxpayers continuing to pay her salary for another month if she’s no longer here at the White House?
If she has resigned, though, why is she still on the payroll for another month? Is that normal?
On a separate matter, on the tax plan, if I could just ask: Will the President ask the House and Senate to stay here in Washington and finish this bill, even if it means bleeding into the Christmas holiday?
(Jeff Mason, Reuters) Sarah, does the President have any thoughts about the Disney deal to buy 21st Century Fox?
And what does the President think about the FCC decision on net neutrality? There are a lot of Americans, polls show, who are very opposed to that change.
(Matthew Nussbaum, Politico) Getting back to that Alabama result, does what happened down there change the President’s relationship at all with Steve Bannon, given his big support for Moore? And has it changed the President’s thoughts on Moore — on, excuse me, Mr. Bannon’s opposition to other incumbent Republican senators?
Well, I’m asking about the President’s relationship.
(Francesca Chambers, Mail Online) Thank you, Sarah. I know that you said that you can’t go much further on this personnel matter, but I do want to try to separate out some of the things that we’re hearing here and just be crystal clear.
So you’re saying that Omarosa Manigault was NOT fired on Tuesday evening, that she DIDN’T get belligerent in her conversation with General Kelly, she WASN’T yelling at him, she WASN’T cursing at him, and she WASN’T escorted off the property — and Secret Service has said not by them — but she wasn’t escorted off the property by someone or some entity other than Secret Service that evening?
(a woman–I can’t see who) In an interview with STAT News this morning, Kellyanne Conway said she and other administration officials have been urging Congress to appropriate additional funding for the opioid epidemic. The President declared a public health emergency earlier this fall, but that fund only has $57,000 in it. Economists have predicted that it will cost upwards of $190 billion over a decade to treat the crisis. Can you tell us how much money the White House will be urging Congress to appropriate? And what do you have to say to critics who believe that the President hasn’t dedicated enough resources to combatting the epidemic this year?
Is it more —
Is it around $45 billion that was a part of the Republican healthcare plan?
Is that money something that you guys will get done — that appropriation — by the end of this year? Can the President promise that?
(Kristen Welker, NBC News) Sarah, thank you. With Omarosa leaving, how many senior staffers here, at the White House, are African American?
Do you have a number on how many are African American?
She was really tasked with reaching out to the African American community. Have you identified who is going to take that role? And how critical is it to this President, to this administration, to make sure that that role is, in fact, filled?
And just to follow up one of April’s questions. What Omarosa said today was, “I’ve seen things that have made me uncomfortable, that have upset me, that have affected me deeply and emotionally, that has affected my community and my people.” Were her concerns ever addressed or dealt with?
Do you know if any of the issues or any of her concerns were?
(Margaret Brennan, CBS News) Sarah, today is the fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre in which so many children were killed. That, of course, as a tragedy, was eclipsed by what happened in Las Vegas, which is now the most tragic mass shooting on U.S. soil. Since that time, what has President Trump done to try to protect the American people against a similar type of massacre? Does he think anything has been done? What is the administration trying to do? Is there anything at the executive level that he thinks needs to be undertaken?
(Margaret’s voice quavered a little as she asked this question, but Sarah was perfectly steady as she launched into talk about border security. Border security.)
But these were domestic shooters. These weren’t people who entered the United States.
But no one issue that the President has highlighted that says he wants to make a priority to push forward?
But there were prescriptions given very quickly just the other day for this failed terrorist attack, which is why in these cases — I mean, this is the worst shooting on U.S. soil on President Trump’s watch.
Does it involve a weapons ban, any kind of regulation, any kind of mental health concerns? Has the President specifically mentioned that as a possibility?
(Trey Yingst, One America) Thanks, Sarah. Has the President expressed any concerns regarding the FCC’s decision today to roll back these Obama-era regulations on net neutrality? And then, moving forward, are there any assurances that the White House can offer to the American people who are concerned that the decision and vote today will lead to a less-free Internet?
(Someone named Brian) I’m going to ask a question about taxes. The Federal Reserve, yesterday, said that the tax bill would provide a modest lift to the economy. That’s in stark contrast to words that the President has used, like “rocket fuel” to the economy. What is the data the President is basing his rosier picture of the impact on the economy of the tax bill, versus the experts at the Federal Reserve?
Was the President upset the word “modest” was used?
Sarah goes to the WTF (Worse Than Fox) trio when things get hairy today. The boys at One America, LifeZette, and racist zine Breitbart are more than happy to help her trammel over pointed follow-ups from other reporters in the room.
Also, Mara Liasson seemed to fall asleep in her chair near the end of the briefing, which is basically how I was at work today.
Lastly, some people on the left are being really ugly on Twitter, calling Sarah Huckabee Sanders ugly. We’ve got a long way to go on our misogyny — our whole culture is a toxic soup of it. She’s not ugly, she’s just kind of average-looking and not overly symmetrical — LIKE MOST OF US. Her outfits are fine. When people harp on her looks with nasty, gross memes (that aren’t even clever), the message to women everywhere is “Look perfect or hide yourself away.”
She’s an amoral henchperson for Trump. That’s enough fodder for criticism.
Here are the questions the reporters in the room asked today:
(Francesca Chambers, Mail Online): Thank you, Sarah. I wanted to ask you about the women who came forward today against the President. They first were on a television show and then they were at a press conference. And they said that he should resign, and then also that there should be a congressional investigation. And I know that you’ve said that this has already been litigated in the last election, but I wanted to get your specific reaction to this idea that there should be a congressional investigation into this.
(Kristen Welker, NBC News) Sarah, thank you. I want to follow up on that. But first, a little bit of breaking news we just learned about: The Pentagon apparently will now allow transgender people to enlist in the military beginning January 1st. Your reaction to that? And any follow-up action you’re going to take?
Okay, and one follow-up –
One follow-up very quickly on — just very quickly, Sarah.
Can I just ask you about Nikki Haley’s comments saying that the President –
(Mara Liasson, NPR)I’ll pick that up for you, Kristen.
Nikki Haley, as I’m sure you know, said, when asked does the election mean that’s a settled issue — which you’ve been arguing from the podium here — she said, “I know he was elected, but women should always feel comfortable coming forward and we should all be willing to listen to them,” specifically referring to the accusers of the President. Does the President agree with her?
But he thinks it’s a good thing that the women who accused him are coming forward now, again?
(Jacqueline Alemany, CBS News) I just want to go off of that, Sarah. But the President told Howard Stern in 2005 that he had walked into a teen beauty pageant dressing room where he said that teen contestants had no clothes on because he could sort of get away with things like that. Is that not an admission of sexual harassment—
And the American public —
(Charlie Spiering, Breitbart) Two ISIS attacks in New York City — or ISIS-inspired attacks in New York City just recently. Is the President concerned that there is a growing threat against people inspired by ISIS who have been radicalized online?
(Matthew Nussbaum, Politico) Thank you, Sarah. The President reacted quite angrily over the weekend to a Washington Post reporter’s tweet about crowd size that was quickly deleted. I’m wondering if you could help explain the discrepancy between the President’s reaction to incidents like this, which he calls “fake news” and talks quite a bit about, and his silence on actual disinformation campaigns like Russia ran during the 2016 election to deliberately spread false information. So both his silence on that, and does he recognize the difference between these two?
Does he see a difference between reporters’ mistakes and a disinformation campaign by a foreign government? Does he see a distinction there?
(Jim Acosta, CNN) And I would just say, Sarah, that journalists make honest mistakes and that doesn’t make them fake news. But the question that I –
The President hasn’t –
This wasn’t going to be my question.
You mean like tweeting stuff on the Middle East —
He retweeted something that was completely fake, Sarah. Can he admit it?
(Brian Karem, Sentinel Newspapers)Are you speaking about the President? [this interjection was after Sarah’s long rant on the media being dishonest]
This was not –
I know, I know.
(Jim Acosta again) This is not the line of questioning that I was going down, but can you cite a specific story that you say is intentionally false; that was intentionally put out there to mislead the American people?
Sarah, if I may though, I was going to ask a question about something else.
Well, Sarah, if I may –
Sarah, if I can ask about the President’s accusations –
I know, but I didn’t get a chance to ask the question that I wanted to ask, which is –
— can you just say, once and for all, whether these accusations –
(Jim Stinson, LifeZette) Sarah, a question about investment — investment taxes.
(Jim Acosta, CNN) I think I was within my rights to respond to your attacks on the news media. If that’s okay, I would like to ask the question that I had about these accusations of misconduct against the President. You said that he’s denied them. Can you say whether or not they are false?
[Sarah says: “I’m not going to respond”]
Sarah, some investors are saying the tax reform package favors mutual funds over individual investors. Other critics who want tax reform say the bill will cause some tax increases for a few middle-class tax filers. By a few, I mean maybe tens of thousands, but maybe more. Will the President sign the tax bill, even if there are inadvertent tax increases and some of the criticisms are correct?
(Jon Decker, Fox Radio News) Thanks a lot, Sarah. Tomorrow there is a special Senate election in Alabama. Back on September the 23rd, the President went down to Huntsville, Alabama — campaigned alongside of Luther Strange — and since that time, he never went down in the course of the campaign — the campaign, alongside the Republican nominee, Roy Moore. Was the President embarrassed in terms of campaigning alongside Roy Moore? Is that the reason why we didn’t see him down there in Alabama?
(April Ryan, American Urban Radio Networks) Sarah, what is the disconnect, as it relates to this White House, when it comes to then-candidate Trump bringing the accusers of Bill Clinton to the debate, against Hillary Clinton, and now the accusers of Roy Moore — making these accusations — and his accusers? What’s the disconnect here?
Well, what about his own accusers though? He has accusers as well.
Will he address the American public about this? Because this is spinning, and it’s focused on him now as –
But will he — it’s coming up new and a fresh, and more people are now speaking out. Will –
I understand. But will the President address the nation on this? This is a huge issue, Sarah.
Will the President come out and address this, please?
Sarah, all you have to say is yes or no.
(Trey Yingst, One America News Network) Thank you, Sarah. Today, the suspected terrorist in New York City, he was described as a Bangladeshi immigrant. Bangladesh is not on the President’s travel ban list. Does today’s attack change the way that President Trump is evaluating travel restrictions?
(Olivier Knox, Yahoo! News) Thanks, Sarah. At the top of your remarks about ISIS, about the attack today in New York City, you talked about the need to destroy the ideology, intimating would-be attackers and the actual attackers. What policy changes are required to do that? How do you defeat an ideology that’s been attempted since 9/11 with, really, no great success? What are you doing differently? What can you do differently in order to do that?
(Jessica Stone, CGTN (China)) Thanks, Sarah. Two quick ones on Korea. Do you have an update on sanctions? Last week, you said it would be coming in a number of days. And secondly, Victor Cha was just nominated to be the Republic of Korea Ambassador. Do you have any comment?
(Margaret Brennan, CBS) Sarah, I’m interested in the comment you made about the suspect in New York. Does the White House have any proof that this suspect was radicalized outside of the United States? He’s been a lawful, permanent resident living here for some time.
But why would his chain migration be an issue unless you were saying that something happened outside the U.S.? [she won’t answer]
(Jennifer Jacobs, Bloomberg) On the directive on space the President is going to announce this afternoon, will he call for an increase in spending for NASA, or will there be commercial partnerships? Or will he reduce NASA funding in other areas such as earth science, which includes the study of climate change?
(Cecilia Vega, ABC News) Thanks, Sarah. Two questions. Who were the eyewitnesses who dispute these allegations against the President? And can you stand here right now and say, without a doubt — 100 percent certainty — that the more than dozen women who have come forward to accuse this President of misconduct are lying? Do you wrestle with this personally at all?
(Brian Karem, Sentinel Newspapers) So let me just follow up on that question a little bit. As a woman standing up there talking to us — I know your job is to relay what the President says — have you ever been sexually harassed? And do you understand — and I’m not saying by the President — I’m saying ever. And secondly, do you have an empathy for those who come forward? Because it’s very difficult for women to come forward.
(Zeke Miller, AP) Thanks, Sarah. Following up on the President’s announcement last week on Jerusalem, declaring it’s the capital of Israel, we saw days of protests — sometimes violent protests in the Middle East, changes to the Vice President’s schedule as he goes through the region. Does the White House acknowledge, does the President acknowledge, that that decision increased tensions in an already volatile region?
Sarah, but this is about more than violence. This is about meetings being cancelled. It’s about diplomatic outcry from everyone from — you know, the governments of the United Kingdom, the Pope, and the like. So why is it beneficial to the U.S. interest, as the President declared, if all those groups, all those countries and allies are condemning that announcement?
(Jordan Fabian, The Hill) Yeah, following up on that, President Abbas, as you know, has said he will not meet with the Vice President next week. Does the President have a reaction to that? And doesn’t this mean that the U.S. has effectively taken itself out of the peace process when one side won’t even show up to meet with the United States?
(Philip Crowther, France24) So the last suspects of terrorism were not training in Syria or Iraq. And Thursday, the Russians stopped their operations, said that they’d gotten rid of ISIS in Syria. Saturday, the Iraqi Prime Minister said this fight against ISIS is won. Why would the U.S. still need to fight on the ground?
Called out as SHS left—(something inaudible) the President misrepresented the facts?