FW: Pool report #2

From: Freedman, Dan [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Wednesday, January 18, 2017 4:07 PM
To: Gabriel, Brian A. EOP/WHO ; Velz, Peter T. EOP/WHO
Subject: Pool report #2

President's final press conference began just after 2:20p, lasted just under an hour. (Pooler clocked 58 mins.)

Per Mark Knoller: By my count, it was his 39th solo WH news conference. His 21st in the WH briefing room. And his 224th pres availability of all kinds - such as joint press conferences with foreign leaders at home and abroad.

President was dressed in his basic blue suit, patterned tie and blue shirt. Acoustics were poor squashed against the wall. I'm fully confident of the following quotes but, as always, please check against transcripts. These are just a few highlights, not a comprehensive report since PC was open press, broadcast live, everyone there, etc.
Started out with pleasantries on relationship with press, how he looks forward to reading news as a consumer rather than the object of the writing.
Chelsea Manning: ``Chelsea Manning served a tough prison sentence.''
Russia: ``It is in America's interest and the world's interest to have a constructive relationship with Russia.'' He talked also about WikiLeaks, negotiating with Russia, nuclear stockpiles.
Talking to Trump: Conversations are ``cordial, at times they've been lengthy.'' And they've been substantive. ``Having won the election, it is appropriate for him to go forward with his vision, his values.''
Holds out possibility Trump will change on the job. Needs good staff to help him out. ``This is a job of such magnitude that you can't do it by yourself.''
``Reality has a way of biting (fighting) back if you're not paying attention.''
No comment on Rep John Lewis, Dems who are choosing to boycott Inauguration. On afterward: ``It's important for me to take some time to process this (amazing?) experience.'' Think he said he's not running for anything in future but not 100%.
Made a distinction between normal ebb and flow of politics, things like taxes, climate change. But there are others where ``our core values may be at stake.'' Among them are discrimination, efforts to  silence the press, and deporting DACA people, dividing immigrant families.

WILL DO A SECOND ADD, (i.e. look for pool report #3.)

Dan Freedman
Hearst Newspapers Washington Bureau
-Albany Times Union
-Connecticut Post
-Danbury News-Times
-Greenwich Time
-Norwalk Hour
-Stamford Advocate
Twitter: @danfreedma

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