Live Blog: President Obama's August 9 Press Conference
President Obama is taking questions from the news media. In the comments section, tell us what you would ask if you were a White House reporter.
I'll be covering the questions journalists ask of the president below the page break. As always, I'm doing this on the fly, so transcriptions of questions may be imperfect:
15:15 EDT, first question in press conference: Julie Pace of Associated Press asks about "foreign policy" fallout as a result of the NSA programs. Asks if there will be additional punitive measures against Russia other than cancellation of the summit.
15:19 EDT Pace asks about other punitive measures to put pressure on Russia beyond canceling summit
15:20 EDT: Chuck Todd, NBC News asks if NSA leaker Edward Snowden is a "whistleblower" and a "patriot" and also "can you get big stuff done with Russia without a good personal relationship with Putin?"
15:27 EDT: Major Garrett of CBS News asks about the choice of the next Federal Reserve chairman and how many Democrats in Senate prefer Janet Yellen over Larry Summers. Garrett asks if Obama is "annoyed" by the "roiling" debate among Democrats.
15:31 EDT Garrett asks followup.
15:32 EDT Carol Lee of the Wall Street Journal asks Obama about his "evolution on surveillance issues." "Why should the public trust you on this issue and why did you change your position multiple times."
15:37 EDT Lee asks if Obama "can understand why people might not trust what you're saying" -- President's reply -- "No, I can't."
15:39 EDT Jon Karl, ABC News, "Do you still believe that al Qaeda has been decimated?" Also inquires about unconfirmed drone strikes in Yemen.
15:43 EDT Karl: "So you won't confirm drone strikes?"
15:43 EDT Ed Henry, Fox News "If you pick and choose which parts of the law [ObamaCare] to implement, couldn't a successor down the road [do the same]?" Henry also asks about Benghazi and Obama's promise to get those responsible.
15:44 EDT Henry: "Are you close to having a suspect in custody" Obama: "I'll leave it at that..."
15:52 EDT Jessica Yellin, CNN: "Would you choose to let the government shut down to ensure that ObamaCare remains funded?"
15:54 EDT Yellin "And if you do sir, and you have to make that choice?"
15:54 EDT Scott Horsley, National Public Radio, noting most Republicans have few Hispanics in their congressional districts, "What other political leverage can you bring to bear to move [immigration reform] in the House."
15:59 EDT President thanks reporters, leaves the room
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Some decent questions, particularly by Ed Henry, Carol Lee, and Jon Karl, but the biggest doozy had to be NPR's Scott Horsley. Major Garrett's concern about the president being "annoyed" with debates inside the Democratic Party about who would make a better Federal Reserve chairman was also rather servile. Jessica Yellin's question about ObamaCare set up a looming government shutdown as something that would be Republicans' fault, not the president's for vetoing, if it got to his desk, a continuing resolution which lacked money to fund implementation of ObamaCare.