This morning, at theWhite House, during Chimpy’s Presser.
Suspend Your Halted Program!
Here’s what we know. We know that they’re still trying to learn how to enrich uranium. We know that enriching uranium is an important step in a country who wants to develop a weapon. We know they had a program. We know the program is halted.
And so it’s a — to me, the NIE provides an opportunity for us to rally the international community — continue to rally the community to pressure the Iranian regime to suspend its program.
One Of Which
The best diplomacy, effective diplomacy, is one of which all options are on the table.
He Wanted The NIE Released To Prove He Was Lying
One of the reasons why this is out in the public arena is because I wanted — and our administration believed that, one, it was important for people to know the facts as we see them. Secondly, that members of my administration had been very clear about the weapons program earlier this year and, therefore, it’s important for the American people to see that there has been a — a reevaluation of the Iranian issue.
Lie of the Day
David, I don’t want to contradict an august reporter such as yourself, but I was made aware of the NIE last week.
So That It Was The Sticks-And-Carrots Approach
In other words, we said to the EU-3, we’ll support your efforts to say to the Iranians, you have a choice to make: You can continue to do policy that will isolate you, or there’s a better way forward, so that it was the sticks-and-carrots approach.
It was all an attempt to take advantage of what we thought was a more open-minded Iranian regime at the time — a willingness of this regime to talk about a way forward. And then the Iranians had elections, and Ahmadinejad announced that — to the IAEA that he was going to — this is after, by the way, the Iranians had suspended their enrichment program — he said, we’re going to stop the suspension, we’ll start up the program again. And that’s where we are today.
And our hope is we can get back on that path again. But what is certain is that if Iran ever had the knowledge to develop a nuclear weapon and they passed that knowledge on to a covert program, which at one time in their history has existed, the world would be more dangerous.
Jeff Gannon Is In Da’ House!
Now, the Iranians — the most difficult aspect of developing a weapons program, or as some would say, the long pole in the tent, is enriching uranium.
What The Iraninas Play Like They Got
The danger is, is that they can enrich, play like they got a civilian program — or have a civilian program, or claim it’s a civilian program — and pass the knowledge to a covert military program.
Doesn’t Remember Who He Just Spoke To
THE PRESIDENT: Toby, I apologize for getting immediately to the TV people. That’s bad protocol, I should have called on you.
Q She went already.
THE PRESIDENT: Oh, she already has —
Q Yes, you’re getting on TV. (Laughter.)
Q I’ve got another question, though.
THE PRESIDENT: I’m having such a good time, I forgot what passed.
His Saudi Masters
Q Thank you. Another issue — on another issue of credibility in the Mideast, at the Annapolis summit, you used your influence to get Saudi Arabia to the table. But I wonder whether now you will use your influence to do something about the Saudi rape case that’s gotten so much international attention. What goes through your mind when you hear about a 19-year-old Saudi women getting gang-raped by seven men and basically a Saudi court blames the victim and sentenced her to 200 lashes? You spoke to King Abdullah by telephone in the last couple of weeks. Did you press him on this case? If so, what did you say? And if not, are you giving him a pass?
THE PRESIDENT: My first thoughts were these: What happens if this happened to my daughter? How would I react? And I would have been — I would have been — I’d have been very emotional, of course. I’d have been angry at those who committed the crime, and I’d be angry at a state that didn’t support the victim. And our opinions were expressed by Dana Perino from the podium and —
Q But did you press King Abdullah about it, personally?
THE PRESIDENT: I talked to King Abdullah about the Middle Eastern peace. I don’t remember if that subject came up.
Q But if it’s that important to you, why wouldn’t you bring it — at that level, bring it directly up to King Abdullah?
THE PRESIDENT: We’ll have plenty of time. He knows our position loud and clear.
There Is Serious Issues
So I’m optimistic. I recognize there’s some serious issues — the credit crunch, as well as the home building industry.
Whole Lotta Convincing Goin’ On
So I spend a fair amount of time trying to convince our counterparts that they need to convince the private sector folks that it is in their interests and for the sake of peace that there be a common effort to convince the Iranians to change their ways, and that there’s a better way forward.
Candy Crowley, Campaign Trail Slut
On the other hand, what I’m not going to miss is what we all — some of us went through in 2000, which was getting out on the airplane and having my friend Candy Crowley pass a virus around and — (laughter.)
What Chimpy Has Got
I have got cordial relations with the leaders when I talk to them.
Hopefully in the next — however long they intend to stay here, that we’re capable of working together.
The Question That Pissed Him Off, Ending The Presser
Q Thank you, Mr. President. I may want to apologize in advance because —
THE PRESIDENT: Please do.
Q — I can’t help but read your body language this morning, Mr. President. You seem somehow dispirited, somewhat dispirited.
THE PRESIDENT: I think you need to apologize for advance — (laughter.) This is like — all of a sudden, it’s like Psychology 101, you know? (Laughter.)
Q A question related to that, sir, is, twice now, on Iran and Iraq, the facts have failed you on things that you’ve been outspoken on telling the American people. Senator Harry Reid is saying on the war spending issue that “the President is not leveling with the American people.”
THE PRESIDENT: On the war spending issue?
Q Yes. Are you, in fact, troubled by —
THE PRESIDENT: Why don’t you clarify that for me?
Q Well, are you —
THE PRESIDENT: What aspect of it? That I don’t think we ought to fund the troops?
Q No, sir.
THE PRESIDENT: I think we need to fund the troops. I submitted a supplemental last February. Anyway —
Q My question, sir, is, are you feeling troubled about your standing here yesterday, about perhaps facing a credibility gap with the American people?
THE PRESIDENT: No, I’m feeling pretty spirited, pretty good about life, and have made the decision to come before you so I can explain the NIE. And I have said Iran is dangerous, and the NIE doesn’t do anything to change my opinion about the danger Iran poses to the world. Quite the contrary. I’m using this NIE as an opportunity to continue to rally our colleagues and allies.
Q Do you think it —
THE PRESIDENT: It makes it — the NIE makes it clear that the strategy we have used in the past is effective.
And so, kind of Psychology 101 ain’t working. It’s just not working. I understand the issues, I clearly see the problems, and I’m going to use the NIE to continue to rally the international community for the sake of peace.