Fwd: travel pool #3 gaggle highlights

Begin forwarded message:

From: John Stanton >
Date: October 7, 2016 at 12:19:16 PM CDT
To: "Allen, Jessica L. EOP/WHO" >
Subject: travel pool #3 gaggle highlights

Here’s a recap of the gaggle, with special thanks to the Post’s Mike Debonis, who kindly picked up the second half.

No word on whether POTUS will attend either the Cub's games this weekend, wherein they will surely be victorious.

Eric didn’t have anything more to add on this morning’s briefing, aside from underscoring that “he’ll remain engaged and focused on this” through the weekend.

ON Gov. Scott’s decision to not extend early voting registration due to Matthew, Eric didn’t comment directly, but said “generally speaking, the president thinks we should be making it easier for people to vote, not harder. And any steps that impede on citizens’ ability to exercise that right to vote is a step in the right direction.”

On a trip to Florida to tour areas hit by Matthew, Eric said there are no announcements at this point, though he noted that POTUS cancelled last week’s trip which may be rescheduled.

On POTUS’ unexpected return to the Oval Office this morning, Eric said “He forgot something that he wanted to take on the trip. He’s human like the rest of us.”

Regarding Trump accusing undocumented immigrants of coming to the U.S. to vote, Eric said “I haven’t seen those comments and I have no idea what he would use to back those up

As for the Wall St Journal report on new emails showing communications between the White House and Hillary Clinton’s camp regarding her email scandal, Eric said, “For years now, my boss Josh Earnest from the podium in the White House briefing room has acknowledged that our staff in the communications office in the White House will be in touch with Sec. Clinton’s team about stories that pertain to Sec. Clinton’s service to the Obama administration. The documents that were printed only seem to back up what Josh has been acknowledging for a while.”

Asked about whether the administration sought to influence coverage of the scandal, specifically during a CBS interview with Sec. Kerry, Eric said “That’s not my understanding. You’ll have to talk to the State Department about any engagements they had with media outlets.”

On reports that Russia was considering reestablishing bases in Cold War era countries, Eric said “Generally speaking, we believe we can work together when we have joint goals. In recent times Russia has not been able to live up to the goals they’ve made, whether that’s Syria, whether that’s in Ukraine, or elsewhere around the world.”

On Haiti: “While we are laser focused on the response within the United States, the damage caused by the storm in the Caribbean has been devastating, and are prayers are with the families and loved ones particularly who died in the storm.

USAID has already sent disaster teams to Haiti, Jamaica and the Bahamas, and they’re working with local authorities to coordinate relief efforts.” Eric noted USAID has made available $5 billion assistance, and the Dept. of Defense is providing $11 billion in “overseas disaster relief. I can also tell you that Dept. of Defense personnel are on the ground in Haiti. Currently there are 150 people there, I suspect weather permitting that number will grow to a couple hundred over the weekend.” U.S. military personnel are “fulfilling responsibilities that would normally fall to, in the case of the United States, national guard. Distributing food and water, making sure assets can move, assisting with transportation, being able to stand up first responder.”

Schultz did not confirm whether the president would vote early in person at his local precinct as he has done previously:

"I do know that Illinois is a state that enjoys early vote, that's an option that the president has availed himself of previously. so if he decides to do that on this trip, we'll make sure you guys tag along."

Schultz fielded questions about the president Sunday fundraiser for Rep. Tammy Duckworth, who is looking to unseat GOP Sen. Mark Kirk.

"This isn't just another seat in Congress for the president . This is his own Senate seat. So this is one that's important to him, and I think you'll hear more about that on Sunday."

"We're getting to that get out the vote time of campaigns esepcially in a state like Illinois with early vote. You'll hear more about this from the president. He does have deep views about this particular campaign."

Schultz declined to say whether the president would be meeting with Mayor Rahm Emanuel or engaging in any activities connected to his presidential library.

Asked about the president's views of the mayor's performance, he said, "Obviously the president loves the city of Chicago and making sure that Chicago does well is important to him. He thinks nobody knows the challenges Chicago faces better than Mayor Emanuel and no one is working harder."

--
John Stanton
Buzzfeed.com
DC Bureau Chief

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