From: Nelson, Colleen McCain [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, September 02, 2015 12:52 PM
To: Allen, Jessica L. EOP
Subject: Travel Pool Report #3 -- Dillingham arrival and part of gaggle
(Pool report delayed by lack of connectivity in the otherwise lovely town of Dillingham. Apologies.)
Air Force One touched down at the Dillingham airport at 11:50 a.m. President Obama jogged down the steps on this rainy day and headed to a viewing pen in a nearby hangar.
He shook hands for about four minutes, telling folks, “Good to see you. Good to see you.”
At 12:08 p.m., the motorcade was rolling to Kanakanak Beach.
Josh Earnest gaggled during the flight. More highlights will follow but here’s what Earnest said about the vote count for the Iran deal:
“The administration is encouraged that more than a third of the United States Senate has now indicated that they’ll support the successful implementation of the international diplomatic agreement to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. This strong support is a validation of the outreach that the president and his team have organized to make sure that every member of the Senate understands exactly what’s included in this agreement,” Earnest said.
The administration has organized classified briefings, has testified under oath and has held small-group and one-on-one meetings to help members of Congress understand the agreement, he said.
“We are encouraged about the latest tally, but when the stakes are this high … every vote is important. And there are still a number of members of Congress in both the House and the Senate that have not yet indicated that they’ll support the agreement, and everyone from the president on down will continue to be engaged in marshaling the information necessary so that undecided members can reach their own conclusions about the agreement,” Earnest said.
“We intended to build as much support as possible in the both the House and the Senate, and that’s why our efforts even as we speak today are continuing.”
“Our goal has not changed. Our goal is to build as much support as we can in both the House and the Senate for the successful implementation of the international agreement to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”
The White House will continue to offer briefings, access to senior administration officials, etc., Earnest said. They will continue to make the case that this is the best way to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and that Congress’ success in killing the deal makes another military confrontation in the Middle East more likely, he said.
On Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the DNC resolution:
“What this administration cared about …. Is demonstrating clear support at the DNC for the international agreement to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon,” Earnest said.
He said he understands that there’s a letter signed by an overwhelming majority of DNC delegates indicating their strong support for the agreement.
Wasserman Schultz “is among those undecided members of Congress …. To her credit, she has participated in literally hours of meetings and conversations with senior administration officials to discuss the finer points of this agreement.”
The more time members of Congress spend learning about the agreement, the more likely they are to support it, Earnest said.
“We’re going to continue to have those conversations with Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz … it sounds to me that she’s treating this as seriously as she should.”