Secretary Gates Called Pastor Jones, Defense Department Confirms

Sep 9, 2010 6:17pm

ABC News' Luis Martinez reports: Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell confirmed to the Pentagon press corps that Defense Secretary Robert Gates called Florida pastor Terry Jones this afternoon to express his “grave concerns” about a planned Koran burning because it could place US military lives at risk.  Morrell said Gates placed a call between 4 and 4:30 p.m. today and engaged the pastor in a “very brief conversation."  "The Secretary expressed his grave concerns to the pastor that going forward with the Koran burning would put the lives of American servicemembers at risk, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan and he urged him not to proceed with the burning," he said. Morrell would not characterize Jones’ responses during the phone conversation. As to who asked Gates to place the call, Morrell referred to his comments at today’s press briefing at which he said the administration was discussing internally whether a phone call should be made. – Luis Martinez

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