Today’s Qs for O’s WH – 6/17/2009

Jun 17, 2009 3:49pm

TAPPER:  Does the president stand by the legal brief that the Justice Department filed last week that argued in favor the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act?
GIBBS:  Well, as you know, that the Justice Department is charged with upholding the law of the land, even though the president believes that that law should be repealed.

TAPPER:  I understand that, but a lot of legal experts say that the brief didn’t have to be as comprehensive and make all the arguments that it made, such as comparing same-sex unions to incestuous ones, in one controversial paragraph…
GIBBS:  Well…
TAPPER:  …that’s upset a lot of the president’s supporters. Does the president stand by the content, the arguments made in that brief?
GIBBS:  Well, again, it’s the president’s Justice Department. And, again, we have the role of upholding the law of the land while the president has stated and will work with Congress to change that law.
TAPPER:  OK.  And just one other question.  The — Senator Claire McCaskill yesterday expressed concern about the way in which President Obama fired the inspector general of the Corporation for National Community Service, saying that it did not abide by the law that McCaskill wrote and President Obama as a senator co-sponsored in terms of giving Congress 30 days notice. Do you think that the White House handled the firing of Inspector General Walpin appropriately and according to that law?  And if so, why is the author of the law incorrect?

GIBBS:  Well, I would direct you to the letter that Senator McCaskill received last night, addressed to Senators Lieberman and Collins, which outlined exactly the reasoning for the board’s — the bipartisan board’s request to change inspector generals.
TAPPER:  I’ve seen the letter.  The — the law that McCaskill wrote…
GIBBS:  I’m not familiar with that part of what she’s saying.  I would — again, I’d point you to the letter.

TAPPER:  OK.  Well, the law says that the president needs to give 30 days’ notice to Congress before an inspector general is terminated.  So that letter came, whatever, five or six days after he was terminated.
GIBBS:  Again, I’ll check into that.  I mean, again, the board’s action was precipitated by a meeting that happened on May the 20th.


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