By Miranda Dunn
The President began his morning with the usual FBI and intelligence
briefings. He is meeting with Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld this
morning. Bush will have lunch with Vice President Cheney, and begin an
afternoon of policy briefings. Briefings today include Scott McClellan at 12:30 and Ambassador Boucher at 12:45.
When asked about the President’s feelings on the American soldiers killed in Iraq this morning, Scott McClellan replied, "We are eternally grateful for what our troops are doing in Iraq; it’s an important and just cause that they are involved in. They are going after the dead–enders who are enemies of the Iraqi people, and seek to prevent a free and democratic Iraq from coming about." In regard to the burden of proof the White House still faces, McClellan stated that the long-time weapons expert David Kay continues the search and that we must let him complete his work, the interviews, and the review of documents. McClellan also said, "The President, in a post-September 11th world, is not going to wait for threats to come to our shore. He is going to confront them and address them before it’s too late."
McClellan stated, "The President strongly believes in the sanctity of
marriage being between a man and a woman." McClellan refused to speculate what is needed legally to "protect and defend the sanctity of marriage." White House lawyers are monitoring court cases, and a constitutional amendment may be a possibility. Concerns were raised in regard to the President’s remark yesterday, which stated, "I am mindful that we’re all sinners . . . " McClellan instructed members of the press to look carefully at the question the President was asked, and insisted that Bush simply wanted to remind people that "it’s important to treat everybody with dignity and respect."
There was a phone call yesterday between Bush and North Korean leaders. The President is still pushing for multi-lateral talks.
By Miranda Dunn
The President began his morning with his usual FBI and intelligence briefings. At 11:20 Bush meets with Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in the Oval Office. The leaders will discuss Middle East peace and the progress since the Aqaba Summit. At 11:50 Bush and Sharon will have a question and answer session in the Rose Garden. They will then go to lunch in the old family dining room in the residence. At 1:55 President Bush will meet with the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia. At 2:55 the President will meet with a bipartisan group of senators in the Cabinet Room. The group will discuss the Senate passage of a comprehensive energy bill, which the President believes is needed to boost the economy and to prepare for our future energy needs. John Turner, Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, will host "Ask the White House" today at 11:00. He will discuss the illegal logging initiative.
In response to questions about Saudi Arabia’s request to have an extra 28 pages in the 900 page September 11th report declassified, Scott McClellan replied that it had been denied. McClellan stated the reasoning behind this decision is avoiding weakening ongoing efforts against Al Qaeda by releasing too much information: the administration does not want to compromise national security. Although some feel that Saudi Arabians would like to disclose the information simply to clear their name of any possible involvement in the events leading up to September 11th, McClellan insisted, "We understand their concerns over the report, but because of ongoing investigations and our national security interests, we cannot agree to the request at this time." McClellan would not say whether the Saudis had formally requested the 28 pages be de-classified, but said they made it publicly known.
ISRAEL AND PALESTINE:
The President is committed to helping Israeli and Palestinian leaders with security. McClellan says Bush will discuss with Sharon "practical ways in which Israel can improve the daily conditions of the Palestinian people."
The President supports increasing and expanding Americorps. Bush hopes by increase the members by 75,000, to better help with natural disasters.
PRESIDENT’S SCHEDULE FOR UPCOMING MONTHS
Saturday, August 2nd, the President will visit Bethesda, Maryland, for his annual physical, and then travel to his ranch in Crawford, Texas. On the 8th, the President will meet with Secretary Rumsfeld for a defense briefing. Plans for August 11th will be announced at a later time. On August 13th, the President will have lunch with a group of economic advisers at his ranch. On the 14th and 15th, Bush begins his tour of Midwest and Northwest states to speak out about preserving national resources and his plans for expanding jobs; he travels to California to speak to troops and will go to the Santa Monica Mountain and Recreation Area to speak about conservation. There are no public events scheduled for August 16th through the 20th. August 21st the President will travel to Portland, Oregon, to discuss his healthy forest initiative. August 22nd, the President will speak about how to preserve salmon and their habitat. August 26th, the President will be in St. Louis, Missouri, for a veterinarian convention. Later that evening, there will be a reception with Senator Kit Bond. August 27th, the President will visit two Midwestern states that are to be announced later. There are no public events for the rest of that week. President Bush will return to D.C. on August 31st, and travel to Ohio for September 1st. September 9th, President and Mrs. Bush will attend an event in Crawford. September 11th, the President will be in Colorado; San Diego on the 14th; Irvine, California, on the 15th; Portland, Oregon, on the 21st; Washington state on the 22nd; Minnesota on the 26th. The President will be doing events and fundraisers with Vice President Cheney throughout the two months to prepare for their campaign.