Friday, January 30, 2009

Robert Gibbs Press Briefing Jan. 29

The White House is posting all of Robert Gibbs press briefings. Here's the one from yesterday:
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
2:12 P.M. EST

MR. GIBBS: All right, sorry I'm both late and early, all at the same time. (Laughter.) And I --

Q Even the Clinton White House has never done that -- to be late and early. (Laughter.)

MR. GIBBS: Let me apologize in advance. My five-and-a-half-year-old has a cold; therefore, I have a cold. So if I sniff a little bit, it's because of that.

Just a couple of quick things, and we'll get into your questions. In addition to the calls that he made yesterday to foreign leaders, he also called last night Prime Minister Aso of Japan. Also, in addition to later last night, the President signed disaster declarations for both Arkansas and Kentucky and spoke with both of the governors of those two states to notify them of those signatures.

You all, I hope, were at the Lilly Ledbetter signing this morning, so you know a little bit about that.

And then -- and we'll try to conclude this at an appropriate time -- at 3:00 p.m., the President will take a group of you into a meeting with the President and Treasury Secretary Geithner. I know the President is anxious to make a few remarks there about some -- about stuff that's been in the news the last couple of days, and particularly stuff that was on the front page of our newspapers this morning relating to CEO bonuses, which he will get into at that -- at those remarks.

And with that, let me take a few questions. Jennifer.

Q News-of-the-day question -- the military judge's ruling in the USS Cole suspect case at Guantanamo. We'd like a comment on that, first of all, but also kind of the bigger picture. I mean, you guys have asked for a delay in all the trials there. Does this throw a kink into that? How does it affect the broader effort to step back and take a look at those detainees?

MR. GIBBS: Well, let me --

Q Repeat the question, because we can't hear with the --

MR. GIBBS: Oh, I'm sorry, with the new Zamboni? (Laughter.)

Q Repeat the question.

MR. GIBBS: Yes, the question related to -- come on in, guys. (Laughter.) All right. All right. No more -- the place is now sold out, so no more tickets.

This was -- Jennifer asked a question about the ruling that just came down, which did not grant a stay for the military commission in one case. We just learned of the ruling here, as you did, and we are consulting with the Pentagon and the Department of Justice to explore our options in that case. I believe that all the other trials were stayed, which I think continues to give us what we need to evaluate who is at Gitmo and make the decisions commensurate with the executive order that the President signed.

But we are -- we're working to get some consultation on that, and when we have some we'll certainly let you know about that.

Q Just to be clear, what you're saying is that this -- the action in this one case you don't believe throws a kink into the ability to evaluate the entire situation --

MR. GIBBS: No, not at all.

Q -- and the status of detainees there?

MR. GIBBS: Not at all.

Yes, sir. Read the rest here.