From: Parsons, Christi [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, May 20, 2015 10:44 AM
To: Barnes, Desiree N.
Subject: POTUS print pool 2
POTUS landed in Groton/New London at 10:29 a.m. He disembarked with Jeh Johnson at his side, then broke away to shake hands at a rope line across the tarmac. He shook hands with several kids, high-fived one little boy and pinched the cheeks of one very chubby baby.
Highlights from the Eric Schultz gaggle in flight:
*On the possibility of whether the inclusion of Shia forces in the ISIL response could lead to sectarian violence in Iraq: “We always are concerned about sectarian violence, and that’s why it’s going to be important for these forces to be under the command and control of the Iraqi security forces.”
*On the NSC review yesterday and whether there will be a “tweaking” of the US strategy: “There is no formal strategy review that is underway … The president national security team meets regularly … I don’t have any changes to announce.”
*On whether the wife of Abu Sayyaf is cooperating: He said she is being interrogated but not whether she was talking.
*On today’s remarks: Said POTUS will highlight the security threat posed by climate change, noting how climate change can aggravate poverty, political instability and social tensions, terrorist activity and other forms of violence … Didn’t preview whether POTUS will talk about ISIL.
*Asked about vehicle recalls: ,“The DOT is taking the extraordinary yet critical step of making sure that carsd and trucks are safe with these air bags, and that’s why they’re taking this step.”
*Asked about US relations with China and upcoming leader visit: “We have a complicated but good relationship with China”
*Asked about Iranian inspections,gave a recap of the state of talks.
*Asked about the trade efforts, said POTUS is working both chambers and both sides of the aisle hard. “He’s not only speaking with supporters but also skeptics to make sure they understand how solid our argument are … The effort on the hill is not limited to the president.”
*Asked about labor and environmental provisions and whether it’s a shift that he is acknowledging they need to be in the fast-track bill: He said the president’s position is the same as before, that they should be in the TPP text. “These pieces should be included in the body of the text because that’s the only way to ensure they can be fully enforceable.”
*This gaggle took place on the USAF version of the Boeing 757, designation C32. H/T Mark Knoller.