Today’s Qs for O’s White House

Oct 8, 2009 2:22pm

Yunji de Nies:  So in these meetings, is the President wanting to pursue Al Qaida and the Taliban as a dual enemy or on two separate strategies?

GIBBS:  Well, I — I'm not going to get into the Q&A involved in all these meetings, except to reiterate what I said to Ed [Henry of CNN], and that is that, through the beginning of these — each of these meetings, we've had intelligence assessments.  And throughout this process, not just in the last couple of weeks, but going back through the transition, the President has wanted us to evaluate the threat that emanates from this region.

I do think there is clearly a difference between an entity that, through a global, transnational jihadist network, would seek to strike the U.S. homeland.  I think that's — the Taliban are obviously exceeding bad people that have done awful things.  Their capability is somewhat different, though, on that continuum of transnational threats.

Yunji:  So how do you approach that, then, if you're dealing with two enemies in the same area?  I mean, what…

GIBBS:  That's — you — you — you've touched on part of what's being evaluated in the situation.

Yunji:  I mean, can you illuminate on that at all?

GIBBS:  No.

Yunji:  And — and on Ed's last point, Secretary Sebelius said yesterday on Jay Leno that — to “bring it on” with the president.  Can we expect a little one-on-one [basketball] with him?

GIBBS:  I — like I said, I'm — he's played — I don't know if he's played with Secretary Sebelius before, but I — I think the president would — would be encouraged to play, yes.

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