TOWOIT #315: Gaggle

From yesterday, April 5, 2018:

Questions asked to Hogan Gidley on the way to West Virginia:

  • President Trump said on the way in that he does have confidence in Scott Pruitt. Can you tell us what that means? Is there still some kind of review into his behavior? Should we expect that he’ll be here several months from now, several weeks from now? What does that mean?

(Wait. I was really curious whether Hogan Gidley was a man or a woman so I did a quick Google search)

Hogan Gidley wearing an Ole Miss t-shirt and holding a turkey by its feet

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  • Is the President concerned about the way that Administrator Pruitt came off on some of the interviews that he’s done? Did he feel like that was not the best showing for the administration?
  • Can you just be specific about, A, what the White House is looking at? And when you say the reports that are out there raise questions, what conduct in particular is of concern to the President? Does it have to do with the rental of the property in D.C.? Does it have to do with the flights? Does it have to do with other conduct? What is the main concern about what may or may not be a firing offense for Scott Pruitt?
  • Hogan, what sort of preparations are being made right now for talks with China about trade? Who’s involved? And what things do you have, or what things is the President considering bringing up with them?
  • Has the President made a decision on whether to send Secretary Mnuchin to Beijing?
  • Hogan, I know that these tariffs aren’t in place yet, but, I mean, pork prices have already dropped. Farmers — soybean farmers are trying to plan their crops for this summer. I mean, people are already making decisions in their life. Small communities are already looking and seeing how their economy could change. They’re upset about it. They’re worried about it. And when the White House tells them, “Well, it hasn’t gone into place yet,” they’re already feeling it in their lives. What’s the White House response to that?
  • Any more details on the plans for the border? How many National Guard might be going down there? When? What kind of timing we might see?

MR. GIDLEY:  Yeah.  There is no specificity on the amount.  It’s as many as we need, as many as it takes.

  • Have all the governors — all the border state governors agreed to work with DOD and DHS to deploy the Guard? Or are there some — I know California; there are some issues there — who have not yet agreed to negotiate on an MOU for that?

Questions asked to Trump himself on the plane ride home:

  • How are you feeling about Scott Pruitt, Mr. President?  Is he —
  • Are you bothered by the reports about him, sir?
  • Yeah
  • What did you think of his interview?
  • Yes.
  • Yes. With Fox.
  • Are you thinking about switching him out for Attorney General?
  • How many National Guard do you want to see at the border?
  • How much do you think that’s going to cost?
  • (Inaudible) — about Amazon. You’ve been tweeting a lot about that. Are you going to actually take some action to change the law that would affect Amazon?
  • Would you like to make changes to make that level playing field?
  • Mr. President, did you know about the $130,000 payment to Stormy Daniels?
  • Then why did Michael Cohen make those if there was no truth to her allegations?
  • Do you know where he got the money to make that payment?
  • Did you ever set up a fund of money that he could draw from?
  • I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear your response earlier about Scott Pruitt.  Are you still
  • About Pruitt.  I was — I couldn’t hear it.

I didn’t get a chance to screen cap it, because I was at work, but in Jenna Johnson’s first version of her Washington Post story on the Stormy Daniels news, she sort of shaded that reporter who switched the topic back to Pruitt as people were still trying to ask follow-up questions about Stormy (and that follow-up didn’t make it into the WH transcript of the gaggle) which then Trump could ignore because another reporter barged in and asked again about Pruitt. It made me laugh to see how shady that was in the article, but when I went back just now to get it for this post, the text of the article had been changed and that bit was taken out.

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