From: Mufson, Steven [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, January 14, 2016 04:34 PM
To: Velz, Peter T. EOP/WHO
Subject: pool report # 12 - gaggle part one
White House spokesman Josh Earnest spoke to the pool on way back to Washington from Baton Rouge. He hailed a report that there were no more new cases of ebola in Liberia as an example of what the United States could do with the cooperation of other nations. He said, however, that “the United States will continue to demonstrate vigilance on this.”
He also said that the administration had transferred an additional ten detainees from Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to Oman, bringing the number of Gitmo detainees down to 93. The number of detainees peaked at 779 under the Bush administration and stood at 242 when President Obama took office, Earnest said. He stressed that every detainee transferred went through a review board and the Secretary of Defense, who gives Congress 30 days advance notice. He said that Oman has a rehabilitation program and all ten released this week would go to that.
He said that of the 93 remaining detainees, 10 were subject to criminal charges and that the administration felt it had enough evidence to prosecute; 34 others already been reviewed and are deemed safe for transfer; and 49 were still eligible for transfer.
He said with the recent addition of Ghana and Oman, more than two dozen countries have repatriated nationals or accepted transfers.
In Q&A Earnest was asked about the president’s Twitter experience. He said that “the president types” and chooses questions from a group that the staff will “curate.” Asked about an unanswered question submitted by House Speaker Ryan, Earnest said it was “an opportunity for people across the country to ask questions.”
Asked about the attacks in Indonesia, Earnest offered condolences and praised cooperation Indonesia has shared with the United States on violent extremism.
On Iran, there was no real change from language used on Wednesday. Earnest said the administration “still looking into the circumstances,” adding that the president waiting for more information. He added that Obama was “interested in learning more” and expecting a thorough briefing.