Little Scottie won’t criticize Coretta Scott King’s family and friends for the manner in which they choose to observeher passing — he’ll let the press do that.
Q Did you talk to the President at all about the political overtones of yesterday’s ceremony, at the funeral? And if you didn’t talk to him, what do you think about it? Was it the place for that sort of criticism?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think the President and Mrs. Bush were very honored to attend the celebration of Mrs. King’s life. This was a time to pay tribute to her and all that she accomplished in life. The President said she not only secured the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., but she built her own legacy, and she made many lasting contributions to freedom and equality for all. And the President and Mrs. Bush were honored to attend, and I think the President expressed his views very clearly in his remarks that he made at the service.
And I don’t know if you have a specific question about —
Q Do you think that —
MR. McCLELLAN: I think that it was a time to honor Mrs. King and her life.
Q Do you think it was an appropriate place for former President Carter and Bishop Lowery to attack —
MR. McCLELLAN: I think others can make those judgments. I think I would say what I just did, that the President and Mrs. Bush were honored to attend. And they feel blessed to have gotten to know Mrs. King, and they’re always going to cherish the time they spent with her. The President had a good relationship with Coretta Scott King and he appreciated that relationship very much.
Meanwhile, Scottie refuses to believe that Republicans question Dear Leader’s decision to illegally snoop on American citizens in their own coutnry.
Q The New York Times is reporting that Representative Heather Wilson, who’s a Republican, is calling for the House Intelligence Committee to also now investigate the NSA surveillance program. Does the President still feel confident that it is acceptable and legal without going to Congress, now that so many Republicans are lining up with questions about it?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, first of all, I don’t know that I’d necessarily agree with your characterization, “so many” — I don’t know what necessarily that’s based on. I’m not — I wasn’t quite clear from the article exactly what was being called for. It made a general reference to something. The Attorney General briefed the Senate Judiciary Committee the other day; there are additional briefings going on this week for the Intelligence Committees in both the House and Senate today and tomorrow. Those are closed sessions. But this is a — the terrorist surveillance program is a vital tool in our efforts to prevent attacks from happening in America. And this is a hot pursuit effort aimed at detecting and preventing attacks.