From: Sarah Wheaton
Sent: Friday, October 28, 2016 4:47 PM
To: Rutherford, Sarah D. EOP/WHO
Subject: travel pool 2 - gaggle notes
Principal Dep. White House Press Secretary Eric Schultz gaggled for about 18 minutes during the flight to Orlando. As always, check against transcript. Thanks to Christi Parsons for transcription help.
Not much news about Clinton emails… Pool didn’t know about Weiner developments; Schultz generally declined comment beyond reiterating president’s support for Clinton.
Obama will do interviews w/ YouTube Stars after speech. See Week Ahead at bottom for more campaign stops.
He announced that after Pres. Obama’s speech, Obama will appear with three youtube "content creators": Liza Kashi, Leah Marie Johnson and Adande Thorne, known to you all a Swoozy."
"The president and Swoozy last spoke in Jan of 2016 after the State of the Union Address as part of our amplification efforts at that time."
Schultz paid tribute to WH press assistant Jess Allen, who’s heading over to the Education Dept.
She started 2012 as media monitor in the re-election campaign and rose through the ranks to become press wrangler.
“It's probably fair to say that she's helped all of you out a lot, but that pales in comparison to what she's done for the White House press office. We are grateful for her service. She's enormously talented, 100% dedicated and whip smart. So it says something about her character and commitment to public service that she's not going very far."
"We wish her only the best and continued success," Schultz said.
Q: When was WH notified?
"The only notification we've received is the letter that was made public by press reports from Dir. Comey to Capitol Hill."
"We had that letter after it was made public, so we did not have advance warning."
Q: Did WH get it directly from FBI?
"We got it through press reports"
Q: Is there an actual investigation or is FBI deciding whether to investigate?
Schultz was not able to clarify.
"President's expectation is that all FBI efforts follow the facts wherever they lead." He wouldn’t speculate further, repeated that Obama wants FBI to make decisions "irrespective of politics."
Q: Should this prompt a pause in assessment that Clinton's private server use didn't cause any national security concerns?
Schultz: "I don't think anything has surfaced to change the president's opinion and views of Secy. Clinton. In fact, I have good news for you, in about an hour and a half he'll be on the ground in Orlando. The president will be able to share his views of Secy. Clinton, why he believes she's uniquely qualified to be the next president of the United States."
"He's going to be proud to support her from now until Election Day," Schultz added.
Q: WIll POTUS address this at all today?
"I would not expect anything on this in the president's remarks today"
"You can expect a lot of the themes he's hit before, touting why he believes Secy. Clinton is uniquely qualified to be commander in chief"
"The president's proud to count himself among the converts" after tough 08 primary.
Q: Why is Rubio running ahead even as Clinton is doing well in Florida? Is the president trying to put this race back on the map?
Schultz: "I have a feeling the Murphy campaign doesn't think it ever fell off the map."
"I would expect the president to talk about the Senate race in his remarks today"
"He believes Cong. Murphy has been a strong member of the House of Representatives for the people of FL, a strong advocate for them in Washington DC, he's worked across party lines a number of times,” Schultz said, citing Everglades protection efforts.
"He's also going to contrast Cong. Murphy's record with that of his opponent."
"Sen. Rubio has a long record that he should be held accountable for"
Q: Is the president disappointed that national Democratic groups pulled out of the race a few weeks ago?
Schultz noted that he used to work at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.
"I'm familiar with how complicated it is to make decisions regarding spending" so Schultz said he won't "wecond-guess"
"For the president's views, he believes that Cong. Murphy should be promoted to the Un States Senate, and that's the case he'll be making down there in Orlando this afternoon."
Obama will "repeat a theme you've heard him talk about ... "the importance of getting out the vote."
"Each of these personalities have millions of followers, people who pay close attention to their work. So the president wants to make sure that we're leaving no stone unturned when it comes to getting out the vote. A lot of these states already have early voting, so a lot of their followers can avail themselves of that right now."
Q: Does POTUS agree w/ Comey that more transparency is needed, and should findings of this new investigation be available before election day?
"I don't have anything to add to that other than to say if you have questions..." go to the FBI
Q: What does it say about nominee of party that barring abnormally fast turnaround, there'll be an active FBI look at her?
Schultz "If you have questions about the scope or nature of the FBI's work, you should check in with the FBI. If you have questions about the president's views of Secy. Clinton, you should tune in in about an hour and a half because the president's going to make an enthusiastic, forceful case for why she should succeed him in the Oval Office."
Schultz proceeded to list the current president’s accomplishments.
On Sen. Kirk’s comments about Tammy Duckworth: “As I understand it, Sen. Kirk apologized over Twitter, but our views on Congresswoman Duckworth are well known… she’s an American hero. She’s a true patriot, she has served her country … including on the battlefield and hopefully next in the United States Senate.”
On the Potus reaction to that comment: (I haven’t talked to him, but . . . ) “This seat is personal to him. This isn’t just another congressional race … We did do an event for her … He feels very strongly that she deserves a seat in the U.S. Senate.”
On whether VP Biden would be a good Secretary of State: “I will take the Clinton campaign at their word that they are 100 percent focused on earning the 270 electoral votes… That said, it should be no surprise that Vice President Biden would surface as a possibility for this role … (Look at the way the president picked him, he wanted) someone with strong relationships around the world, someone with integrity … Should Sec. Clinton be in a position to make a similar decision, it sounds like it would be following that playbook. (Is he interested in the job?) Not my first rodeo.”
On whether HRC’s Intelligence briefing should be suspended: “each nominee after they formally received their nominations … are entitled by practice and by tradition to daily intelligence briefings … It’s my understanding that those briefings continue to be a resource to which each candidate can avail themselves.”
On the Dakota pipeline protest: “Officials at the DOJ have been in touch with local officials and members of local law enforcement … The president has had a priority to improve nation to nation relationships in consultations more broadly with tribes.”
On the White House meeting with the transition council and why Chris Christie wasn’t there: “You should check in with each campaign about the representatives they sent to the meeting … This is a priority that’s front and center for this president … making sure that there’s a peaceful and seamless transition of power … President was enormously grateful for the work that George W. Bush did ... to make sure President Obama and his team could hit the ground running … The president has been working on this for years now, laying the groundwork.”
Does the president know that the presidential limo has license places? (Questioner suggests he seemed unaware in a recorded conversation with Bill Murray, but the WH made a big deal about his 2013 decision to get the taxation-without-representation plates): “I was part of the team in 2013 that had announced that the license plates were changing over … I know the president was proud of that decision … He strongly supports district rights.”
On YouTube interviews POTUS is doing after the Orlando rally: it’s up to the youtubers as to when they put up their interviews.
Week Ahead: Monday, local and military kids trick or treat at the WH … Tuesday, POTUS does HFA event in Columbus, Ohio … Wednesday, HFA event in Raleigh, NC … Thursday, HFA in Miami and Jacksonville, then back home … Friday, HFA in location TBA
White House Reporter