President Barack Obama said in an interview broadcast Monday that he hopes Commerce Secretary John Bryson is "doing alright" after the top trade official drew felony hit-and-run charges in California and was hospitalized for what an aide described as a "seizure" in connection to the incident.
"My hope is that he's doing alright. We're still trying to find out, it sounds like it was health-related in some way," Obama told KTIV television of Sioux Falls, Iowa. "But we're going to make sure, obviously, that he gets the best care and, you know, we'll be able to make a determination from there."
Obama said he had not spoken to Bryson and "just found out about this today," two days after the incident. Bryson allegedly caused two separate car accidents in the space of five minutes late Saturday afternoon in southern California. Bryson was at the wheel of his Lexus when he rear ended a Buick that was stopped at a railroad crossing in San Gabriel, according to the San Gabriel Police Department. He spoke with the Buick's male occupants, then drove away, "hitting the same car again as he left," said a police statement. The men tailed Bryson and called police. They witnessed the secretary hit a second car.
KTIV was one of eight TV stations given an exclusive interview with the president — six from battleground states Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, Virginia and Wisconsin and two from California and South Carolina.