FW: In-town print pool No. 1 - POTUS on California shooting

-----Original Message-----
From: Alex Leary [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Thursday, December 3, 2015 11:37 AM
To: Velz, Peter T. EOP/WHO
Subject: In-town print pool No. 1 - POTUS on California shooting

POTUS addressed the California shooting from the Oval Office, giving a statement to pool. (Check quotes with official transcript.)

He stressed not all is known about the motives but said the nation -- and legislators -- need to address access to weapons.

"We send our thoughts and prayers to the families of those who were killed and pray for a speedy recovery for those who were injured during this terrible attack."

POTUS said he spoke with San Bernardino Mayor and thanked law enforcement for a "timely and professional response."

"At this stage, we do not know why this terrible event occurred," he said, adding it's known the attackers were "equipped with weapons and appeared to have access to additional weaponry at their homes. But we don't know why they did it."

He said the investigation is now under control of the FBI. "It is possible this was terrorist related but we don't know. It's also possible this was workplace related."

"What I can assure the American people is we're going to get to the bottom of this and that we are going to vigilant, as we always are, in getting the facts before we issue any decisive judgments in terms of how this occurred." POTUS said, Vice President Joe Biden seated next to him and top members of his national security team in the room.

More broadly, POTUS continued, "we see the prevalence of these kinds of mass shootings in this country and I think so many Americans sometimes feel as if there's nothing we can do about it."

Said "fortunate" to have law enforcement and military that keep us safe "but we can't just leave it to our professionals to deal with the problems (of) these kinds of horrible killings. We all have a part to play."

POTUS said it is important for "all of us, including our legislatures, to see what we can do to make sure that when individuals decide that they want to do somebody harm, we'll make it a little harder for them to do it because right now, it's just too easy."

"We're going to have to I think search ourselves as a society to make sure that we take some basic steps that make it harder -- not impossible -- but harder for individuals to get access to weapons.

POTUS was joined by:

·         The Vice President

·         Attorney General Loretta Lynch

·         FBI Director James Comey

·         Director of National Intelligence James Clapper

·         National Security Advisor Susan E. Rice

·         Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco

·         Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas

·         Deputy Director of the National Counterterrorism Center John J. Mulligan

·         Deputy National Security Advisor Avril Haines

Alex Leary
Washington Bureau Chief
Tampa Bay Times
(202) xxx-xxx-xxxx

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