Fw: Travel Pool 3 - arrival and gaggle highlights

From: Benjamin Wolfgang [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 21, 2015 02:34 PM
To: Barnes, Desiree N. EOP/WHO
Subject: Travel Pool 3 - arrival and gaggle highlights

Caravan arrived at the East End Family Resource Center at 2:25 after an uneventful 12-minute drive. Onlookers lined the entire route snapping pictures and waving, but your pooler didn't see many protesters.

Joe Manchin is on stage now, awaiting POTUS remarks, which will be open press and streaming live. Crowd count is 250.
Michael Farmer
Program Director at the East End Family Resource Center
xxx-xxx-xxxx

And apologies for skipping this from last report...

POTUS was greeted at the airport by:

Major General James A. Hoyer, The Adjutant General, West Virginia Joint Forces

Col. Johnny Ryan, Commander of the 130th Airlift Wing of the West Virginia Air Guard

Chief Master Sgt Jeffrey Lucas, Wing Command Chief, 130th Airlift Wing of the West Virginia Air Guard

Senator Shelley Moore Capito

Danny Jones, Mayor of Charleston, WV

And now, gaggle highlights:

Eric Schultz answered questions for about 20 minutes during the flight.

Your pooler apologizes for some technical glitches that rendered the first few minutes of the gaggle unintelligible on my recorder. But, there was little news in the face of repeated questions about VP Biden's announcement and whether POTUS played a key role in helping him come to his decision.

"For us it's been a bedrock principle .. the vice president was going to make this decision on his own terms and he was going to be given the time and space to do so," Schultz said.

Eric Schultz said POTUS had regularly been a "sounding board" for Biden to discuss his decision, but as usual, would not go into detail about discussions between the two men. He also would not confirm when the president learned of Biden's decision, or when Biden reached his decision.

"If you have questions about his timing … you should probably check with the vice president's office," Schultz said.

On the Canadian election and Keystone pipeline:

"This is a process thats under review at the State Dept so I'd refer you to that agency for where they are in the process," Schultz said.

Tonight's meeting with Democrats:

"The president will be hosting a number of House and Senate Democrats who have played important roles on the issue of trade."

-Schultz would not say whether WH will release names of attendees. He urged reporters to check with members' offices.

On Assad's travel to Russia:

"We are aware of this travel. We view the red carpet welcome for Assad who has used chemical weapons against his own people at odds with the stated goal by the Russians for a political transition in Syria."

"We urge Russia to use its its influence with the Syrian regime to press for political transition. We know right now what they're doing is counterproductive"

On Paul Ryan and the Great Speaker Search of 2015:

"As you know, Paul Ryan has been a respected leader of the Republican caucus for several years now … he is someone who the president believes has given considerable thought" to major issues that need to be addressed," Schultz said.

But he also said that he hopes Ryan's insistence on uniting the Republican party doesn't mean he is unwilling to work with Dems.

"We hope that's not a precursor for someone who wants to attempt to govern on a strictly partisan basis." Schultz said "We hope whoever is the next speaker assumes that role with a willingness to work with Democrats." -

On Ahmed Mohammed moving to Qatar:

"I did see those reports. I think Ahmed enjoyed his time at the white house in the rose garden for astronomy night," Schultz said, adding that the WH does not regret inviting him to astronomy night, even though he is now leaving the country.

--

Ben Wolfgang
White House Reporter

The Washington Times
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