From: Jordan Fabian [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 18, 2015 01:32 PM
To: Barnes, Desiree N.
Subject: Travel print pool report #2b
Gaggle highlights on non-Israel issues, courtesy of Mike Memoli:
On trade: the president will focus his remarks on the differing economic priorities between Dems and Rs but Earnest said he was sure the president would be happy to take the opportunity to discuss how trade agreements along the lines of what he’s discussed would be in the best interests of middle class families. There will be a Q&A session with audience members during POTUS' speech at the City Club of Cleveland.
Sen. Brown and Reps. Fudge and Kaptur are on the flight but he wasn’t aware of any conversations on that issue yet.
Asked of the White House would be reaching out to Sen. Wyden to help iron out differences between him and Sen. Hatch, Earnest disputed the use of the term “stumbling block” to describe Wyden’s role. He said advancing TPP will require bipartisan support, and that it’s important that Dems and Republicans work together from the beginning to try and advance the process. The administration has been involved in discussions with members of Congress in both parties and will continue to do that. The White House is offering technical assistance in the process but “This is ultimately something that they’re going to need to resolve.”
On letter: contents of letter still being tested by Secret Service. It was captured at a screening facility, and “did not arrive at the White House.”
On Tunisia attack: the U.S. strongly condemns act of violence like this. Earnest called it a fluid situation but said U.S. officials have been in touch with Tunisian officials on it.
Earnest referred questions about a drone was shot done over Syria to the DoD.
He had no comment on Aaron Schock’s resignation.
Asked about Durbin’s “back of the bus” comment regarding the Lynch nomination, Earnest said he hadn’t seen the entirety of the comments. But he repeated talking points about the “unconscionable” delay of a confirmation vote. “There is no doubt about her qualifications for this job and there is no one who has raised a legitimate concern about her ability to do this job.” He repeated a condensed version of that in response to another question about comments from the Congressional Black Caucus chair raising race as a factor in the delay.
On a new AP report on the White House and FOIA, Earnest repeated that the White House has a lot to brag about in terms of transparency. “Frankly it sets a standard that future administrations will have to live up to.”
On coordination between Obama White House and the soon-to-be Clinton campaign, given the apparent appointment of Brian Fallon as her campaign spokesman, Earnest praised the “excellent job” he has done at DOJ, and “I’m sure he will do a terrific job at whatever he chooses to do next.” On Clinton, “If she makes the decision to run for president, I’m confident that the kinds of values that she has fought for throughout her career will be the kinds of values that she will give voice to in the context of her campaign. And if that’s the case, if all that comes about, I’m confident there will be a lot of agreement between the priorities that she articulates and the kinds of priorities that this president has been fighting for for the last six years.” Pressed on whether there’s active communication between staffs, Earnest said that in the context of questions about Clinton’s email records he has had discussions with representatives of Clitnon’s team on “a couple of occasions.”
He said he’s not aware of any substantiative conversations between staffs on legislative strategy.