JAKE TAPPER, HOST: Hello, and happy Father's Day. Joining me this morning, the president's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.
Mr. Emanuel, happy Father's Day.
RAHN EMANUEL, WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Thanks, Jake.
TAPPER: Before we start the questions, I'm interested in your reactions to photographs from Saturday's BP CEO Tony Hayward at a yacht race off the Isle of Wight in the clean waters off southern England. What goes through your mind when you see those pictures?
EMANUEL: Well, to quote Tony Hayward, he has got his life back, he
would say. And I think we can all conclude that Tony Hayward is not going to have a second career in PR consulting. This has just been part of a long line of PR gaffes and mistakes.
But beyond that photo is really the substance here that matters. That's clearly a PR mistake and he has made a number of those mistakes. What's important is, are we capping the well? Are we capturing the oil? Are we containing the clean-up? Are we filing the claims? Are we also cleaning up the mess? That's what's important.
Now this is a mistake and it's a big mistake, like others he has done in the sense when he said himself, he has got his life back. Well, that's what's more important is, do the people down there in that area have their life back? Do they have their livelihood back?
So this is just another PR mistake in a long line of PR mistakes. What I think you've got to really measure is, what are we doing to deal with this problem? What is BP being forced to do to deal with this problem, both contain the well, even getting the $20 billion for the escrow account.
That's the measure here. This will be fodder, as you would obviously ask this question. People will chew over this. But don't take your eye off the major priorities and the key goals, that is dealing with the problem down in the well, and dealing with the problems of the region as it makes as important the people getting the resources they need to restore their lives and restoring that coastline to it environmental purity that it had at one point.
TAPPER: Well, let's talk about that. Are you satisfied with what BP has done so far in terms of capping the well?
EMANUEL: Well, as you know, there is a test here. OK? BP originally was going to do one relief well. We forced them to do a second relief well. They weren't going to do that. BP originally had a plan on capturing a certain amount of oil. We forced that, as you know, today's reports, they're up to 25,000. By the end of June, we forced them by making them do different things to get up to 50,000 barrels a day.
And by mid-July we think we'll be -- and be able to get them to a point capturing 90 percent of that.
TAPPER: And those relief well...
EMANUEL: And originally...
TAPPER: ... by August, do you think they're going to be working?
EMANUEL: And by -- wait a second, and also, Jake, is they originally weren't thinking about $20 billion. And they originally weren't thinking about an escrow account and forcing them to do that. There are certain things that they had to be pushed -- not certain things, like a lot of things that they had to be pushed to do. And pushed to do faster, more of.