White House Gaggle

White House Gaggle
November 1, 2007
Briefer: Dana Perino

President’s Schedule

The President had his normal briefings this morning. At 12:40 pm, he will make remarks on the Global War on Terror at the Heritage Foundation. Later this afternoon, the President participates in two separate photo opportunities; at 3 pm with 2007 Little League World Series Champions, and at 3.50 pm with the recipients of the 2006 Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers. This evening, President Bush attends a Republican National Committee Regents Dinner at a private residence here in Washington D.C.

White House Press Secretary Dana Perino will brief the press at noon today.

State Department Assignments

Perino was asked if the President is aware of complaints among Foreign Service officers who are being forced to taking positions at the new embassy in Baghdad, and Perino replied that he is aware and that Secretary Rice is placing very high premium of making sure that they are safe and out of harms way no matter where in the world they are. She continued to say that, “the security contractors that are, do a very good job of making sure that they are safe; obviously there is an on-going discussion right now on how they operate.”

Water boarding and torture

Helen Thomas asked if the President considers water boarding torture, and Perino replied that “the President does not discuss any techniques, whether they are or are not used in interrogations as he does not want to telegraph to the enemy what may and may not occur.”

Judge Michael Mukasey

“The President thinks it is unfair to hold him in committee”, Perino stated, and continued to say that the President is confident that if allowed to get to the floor, Mukasey would be given a favorable vote by majority. Mukasey has stated in his letter to the committee that he will review all matters if confirmed.

Japan to withdraw the refueling ships

When asked about Japan’s decision to withdraw their fueling ships that serve to help the efforts in Afghanistan, Perino said that the United States would like for Japan to continue their mission. However, the new Prime Minister is expected to come to Washington for a visit in a few weeks, and the President is looking forward to discussion this issue with him.

Oval Office Pen and Pad

This morning, the White House in-town travel pool was asked to gather for an unusual pen and pad in the Oval Office. Perino was asked who’s idea this was and why, and she replied that the President has wanted to do this for a while, but this morning it was her idea. The President wanted to preview the speech at the Heritage Foundation later today. There will be a transcript of this pen and pad.

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