FW: pool report #2

-----Original Message-----
From: John Bennett [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2016 11:51 AM
To: Allen, Jessica L. EOP/WHO
Cc: Barnes, Desiree N. EOP/WHO
Subject: pool report #2

The pool entered the Oval Office around 11:20 a.m., where President Obama and Prime Minister Kenny were seated in side-by-side chairs in front of the fireplace. Above them were what appeared to be four shamrock bushels in full bloom, each in a green pot. Obama wore a dark suit, light blue shirt and green tie with a subtle pattern. Kenny's tie was a solid dark-emerald shade. Beside Obama was a cup of tea (flavor unknown) and a still-covered glass of water. On the table beside Kenny was a glass of water.

U.S. officials spotted in the Oval Office were Vice President Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Adviser Susan Rice. Biden and Kerry, both wearing green ties, stood by the doors looking out to the Rose Garden. Rice, wearing a bright green blazer, stood at a veranda to the right of Obama's desk, perusing a white briefing binder. Your poker could not make out the cover sheet tucked inside the front cover.

Obama spoke first, saying the early St. Patrick's Day festivities are welcomed because "we always like an excuse to celebrate our Irish heritage." He lauded the two countries close relationship, and noted Kenny has presided over an economic recovery much like that of his tenure here in the United States. But Obama also repeated a cautious message he often has used recently, saying there is "more work to do" on both sides of the Atlantic.

Obama applauded Kenny and others for working toward peace in Northern Ireland, saying he hopes all sides can "solidify" it. The president said he is "proud" of the work U.S. officials have done to help with those peace efforts.

Obama noted the First Lady and their daughters have enjoyed their travels to Ireland. He summed up his morning talks behind closed doors with Kenny as "an outstanding discussion, as always." The two then shook hands as cameras snapped rapidly.

Kenny then spoke about being "happy to be back in America" and applauded the close relationship.

As of 11:47 a.m., the pool is holding in vans for trip to the Capitol for the annual St. Patrick's Day luncheon, hosted by Speaker Paul D. Ryan. Obama said early he is looking forward to good Irish food and music at both the luncheon and a reception later this afternoon at the White House.

John T. Bennett
White House reporter
CQ Roll Call

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