From: SV Date
Date: June 16, 2017 at 1:05:24 PM EDT
Subject: WH Travel Pool Report 2b
Notes from the AF1 gaggles with a Senior Administration Official (pls check against transcript.)
“We’ve seen a number of and a pattern of claims from Syria, Russia and others who have various different motives and intentions making such claims wrongly or quickly and inaccurately. what we want make sure is we maintain our credibility as a government not only with the media but with our world partners allies and enemies alike so as to not informally or incorrectly corroborate such a claim.”
“At this point the claims seem to have a number of infirmities that made me nervous and want to ask for actual reflections from our intelligence community” -- don’t have that report yet.
“Some of those infirmities suggested that this happened at the end of May that there were upwards of 300 or more soldiers killed in that strike. That’s the type of magnitude that we would think we would have already seen reflections of, and to at least to my knowledge we weren’t aware of. So a strike of that size of that claim that would have happened that long ago without any knowledge is something that made me curious and specious of the claim.”
“After the US killed Adnani, we had seen that reported by the Russians and Syrians within days so that fact that this has gone for weeks just made me a little bit careful.”
“It would be great if he were dead for a lot of reasons. He’s a bad person leading a very bad organization.”
“Our officials on the ground are aware, our diplomats and our military forces on the ground” of the reports “in Syria and elsewhere.”
“Our state department officials are already on the highest of heightened security postures because of Ramadan and the higher threat that accompanies it so there’d be nothing to do to increase our security posture for us interests” against a retaliatory strike “which lessons my urgency on determining whether the claim is true.”
On wet foot dry: “The ending of that policy is a good thing for not only the people who end up being in harms way but for our border security.”
Again, thanks to co-pooler Noah Bierman for the transcription.
Senior White House Correspondent