'This Week' Transcript: Napolitano, Gibbs, McConnell

Now once this incident occurred, everything went according to clockwork. Not only sharing throughout the air industry, but also sharing with state and local law enforcement, products were going out on Christmas Day, they went out yesterday, and also to the industry to make sure that the traveling public remains safe. .

And I would leave you with that message, the traveling public is safe. We have instituted some additional screening and security measures in light of this incident. But again, everybody reacted as they should, the system -- once the incident occurred, the system worked.

TAPPER: What can you tell us about the suspect? Has a definitive connection with Al Qaida been established yet?

NAPOLITANO: That is now the subject of investigation. And it would be inappropriate for me to say and inappropriate to speculate. So we'll let the FBI and the criminal justice system now do their work.

TAPPER: OK. One final question for you, Madam Secretary: An October report from the Government Accountability Office says that almost $800 million has been spent on new screening technologies by the Transportation Security Administration since 2002, but, quote, "since TSA's creation, 10 passenger screening technologies have been in various phases of research, development, test and evaluation, procurement and deployment, but TSA had not deployed any of these technologies to airports nationwide."

More than eight years after 9/11, an incident obviously involving airplanes, why have these technologies not been deployed to airports nationwide?

NAPOLITANO: Well, without going into the accuracy or inaccuracy of that particular report, new technology has been deployed, but there is a more important point to be made, which is that, A, technology is evolving all the time, it's not a static situation.

And B, even with the most sophisticated technology, everybody needs to play a part in their security. That's why I think the actions of the passengers and the crew on this flight deserve praise. That's why the men and women who have been working really overtime Christmas Day, yesterday, whatever, to make sure that all other flights remain safe, why that system is so important.

You just -- you can't rely on just one part of your security system, you have to look at the system as a whole.

TAPPER: All right. Madam Secretary, thanks so much for joining us.

NAPOLITANO: Thank you.

TAPPER: And now we'll turn to the president's chief spokesman and close adviser, Robert Gibbs.

Merry Christmas, and thanks for joining us.

ROBERT GIBBS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Happy holidays. Good morning, Jake.

TAPPER: The terrorist attack almost happened, had it not been for a faulty detonator. Are you confident that the Obama administration is doing everything it needs to do and did so in this instance to keep the American people safe?

GIBBS: Absolutely, Jake. Let's touch on a few things that the secretary just touched on. The database that this individual was on contains about 550,000 names, OK? A smaller database of about 400,000 of those names are what selectee and no-fly lists are drawn from.

The selectee list has about 14,000, the no-fly list 4,000. So you can see the database that many government agencies and are concerned into is whittled down into much smaller no-fly and selectee lists.

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