We always knew the Bush administration was a little leery of the press, but this is getting ridiculous:
Your pool was convened by conference call about noon Friday by deputy White House press secretary Dana Perino.Um, conference call? That's one way to keep the president away from any tough questions (now that the other way isn't working so well anymore) . Actually, it seems the whole White House is very telecom-oriented today:
Perino said the president had tried calling [Floyd Jourdain, chairman of the Red Lake Chippewa Tribe] a couple of times on Friday, but didn't connect, getting voice mail instead.Voice mail! We'd love to hear the president leaving a message for this guy. "Mr. Jourdain, yeah, uh, this is George W. Bush... heard you've had some tragedies up there lately... uh, but I guess you're not there now, or maybe you're screening, so..." Mr. President, if he still doesn't call you back after you leave a couple messages, we've got some bad news: He's just not that into you.
Full report after the jump. -- "Joe Klein"
Sent: Fri 3/25/2005 2:13 PM
Subject: POOL REPORT #1, 3/25/05
March 25, 2005
Pool Report 1
Crawford Conference call: F-16 sales to Pakistan et al
Your pool was convened by conference call about noon Friday by deputy White House press secretary Dana Perino.
President Bush, she said, had his usual intelligence briefings this morning and made a couple of phone calls. He taped his Saturday morning
radio address - an Easter message that will, in part, discuss the high school shootings in Red Lake, Minn. And he signed two bills. (See
The president was monitoring developments in the Terri Schiavo case, she said, but had not, as far as she knew, talked to his brother, Jeb, the governor of Florida.
The week ahead will be out later, as well as Easter Sunday plans.
In a 5-minute call at 7:34 a.m. Central, she said, he talked with Floyd Jourdain, chairman of the Red Lake Chippewa Tribe about the school
shootings, sent his condolences to the victims, their families and the "entire Red Lake community.'' The president asked about the students,
she said, pledged continuing federal support and offered his prayers.
Perino said the president had tried calling Jourdain a couple of times on Friday, but didn't connect, getting voice mail instead.
In a 9-minute call at 8:43 a.m. Central, she said, the president talked with the prime minister of India, Monmohan Singh, to tell him, among
other things, that the administration was moving ahead with the sale of F-16s to Pakistan, as well as "responding'' to India's request for
information on "multi-role combat aircraft.''
The two leaders also discussed an "exchange of visits over the next year,'' she said, providing no dates or other details.
In follow-up e-mails, Perino said that prior to the F-16 announcement Friday in Washington, administration officials had made "numerous
calls'' to leaders in both the House and Senate.
She also provided the following information on federal help in Red Lake:
* The FBI has jurisdiction in this case and has responded, including sending 10 victim specialists to Red Lake,
Minn. DOJ's Office of Victims of Crime is in touch with the FBI Victim Assistance Unit for coordination of assistance.
* The FBI has a Federal Crime Victim Assistance Fund, thru OVC funding, to respond to victims of mass
violence, and other federal crimes.
* The funding level is approximately $200,000 - $300,000 and use of the funds is set forth in specific guidelines via
an Interagency Agreement between the FBI and OVC.
* If expenses exceed the current funding level, the FBI may contact OVC for additional funding, as needed.
* The FBI victim specialists are in Minnesota doing a "needs assessment" at this time and will be coordinating with
OVC, as needed, on this case. That assessment would include resource needed for grief counseling, financial assistance, funeral arrangements
* In addition to providing assistance thru the FBI fund, OVC may also provide technical assistance to the community
in the aftermath of the mass violence event, as needed, through OVC's Training and Technical Assistance Center (TTAC).
Dallas Morning News