From: Mufson, Steven [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, January 13, 2016 02:09 PM
To: Velz, Peter T. EOP/WHO
Subject: print pool #3 - arrival in Omaha
POTUS and AF1 arrived in Omaha at approximately 3:10 pm.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest briefed on board Air Force One during the flight. Regarding POTUS brief meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah, Earnest said it was a social call and that it wasn’t about any specific request regarding jordan’s role in the fighting in Syria. Earnest said that Jordan “is an important partner” and praised its efforts.
He also said that POTUS spoke this morning with Russian President Putin and that “a significant portion” of their conversation was devoted to urging Putin to end Russian support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Earnest also talked about the American sailors released by Iran after their patrol boats strayed into Iranian waters. He said the White House was “pleased” that Iran released the sailors and said that it “underscores the importance of the diplomatic lines of communication between” Secretary of State John “Kerry and his counterpart.”
He would not comment reports about Iran’s treatment of the sailors or the reasons they sailed into Iranian waters. “We’re still trying to learn more about how exactly that all happened,” he said.
Earnest said that both Nebraska and Louisiana offer POTUS the chance to speak about the expansion of Medicaid, part of his health care reform. In Nebraska, the governor has rejected taking federal funds and Earnest, checking his notes, said that 42,000 additional people in Nebraska could have obtained coverage if the federal funds had been accepted. Earnest said several Republican state legislators had wanted the state to accept the money and he said the state’s budget would carry more of a burden.
By contrast, Louisiana’s governor Edwards on Tuesday said he would issue an executive order to accept the federal funds and Earnest said that about 300,000 people in the state would benefit. “We obviously are particularly excited,” Earnest said.