FW: Pool Report #5 -- POTUS Statement at State Department, return to White House, and Lid

From: Cook, David [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Thursday, February 25, 2016 6:53 PM
To: Allen, Jessica L. EOP/WHO
Cc: Velz, Peter T. EOP/WHO ; Barnes, Desiree N. EOP/WHO
Subject: Pool Report #5 -- POTUS Statement at State Department, return to White House, and Lid

Pool Report # 5 -- POTUS Statement at State Department, Return to White House, and Lid

Colleagues:

POTUS appeared in the State Department's ornate Treaty Room at 5:58 p.m.  POTUS  was flanked (from left to right) by:  Brett McGurk, Attorney General Lynch, Secretary of State Kerry, Defense Secretary Carter, and Joint Chiefs Chair Dunford.

The remarks were carried live on the White House website.  For those who did not watch, key quotes which should all be checked against the White House transcript:

The battle with ISIL "remains a difficult fight."

Even where ISIL is driven out it "leaves behind utter devastation"

Russia's actions in Syria "reinforce the Assad regime and made the humanitarian crisis even worse."

The battle against ISIL "is a tough situation with a lot of moving parts."

POTUS thanked Secretary of State Kerry for "his tireless efforts to bring violence to an end."

The recent agreement between the US and Russia on a ceasefire in Syria "could end" violence and "could save lives"

"There is no cease fire with respect to ISIL"

POTUS said that at today's meeting he and his national security team "discussed the next steps in this fight" against ISIL

POTUS said US military action has resulted in some of ISIL's funds being destroyed.  "It's money is literally going up in smoke."

POTUS said that despite the cease fire to take effect Friday "we are certain there will continue to be fighting" given that not all combatants are party to the agreement.

He said once again that Syria's future "cannot include Bashar Assad."

In conclusion, POTUS said, "the fight against ISIL will remain difficult but we will continue to draw on all the elements of our national power...I am confident we will prevail."

POTUS finished speaking at 6:12 p.m. and ignored a shouted question from the pool as he and his team left the room.

The motorcade left the State Department at 6:21 p.m.and thanks to the wonders of intersection control arrived back at the White House at 6:26 p.m.  Your pool did not see POTUS leave the Beast but his limo was parked in front of the Oval Office.

The White House called a lid at 6:34 p.m.

Have a great night.

Dave Cook

The Christian Science Monitor

xxx-xxx-xxxx (cell)

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