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Travel Pool 6 (Spicer Gaggle)
Josh Dawsey • POLITICO
April 6, 2017: 04:50 PM


Sean Spicer came back to the press cabin around 2:15 PM. He went over some of the events for the weekend for a brief gaggle. 

One note, in response to questions from a few of you: The administration is not billing this as an official state dinner. Your pooler regrets the shorthand phrasing in the last report.

We are heading back to Mar-a-Lago now to see the official arrival. 

SYRIA -- Should there be a reconsideration of the country's refugee policy? 

"Every country's number one priority is to its own people and the protection of them. We've got to do what we can to make sure that, as we seek to root out ISIS and terrorism throughout the world, that we don't at the same time do things that would bring those same threats to our country."

"You've seen the president talk to several folks in the region about the setting up of safe zones and the supporting of them."

"Our hearts break for the people of Syria who were innocently attacked the other day, especially these young children who we watched. We've got to make sure we're always doing what we can to protect our nation, but that doesn't mean that we can't support efforts like safe zones throughout Syria to make sure we do what we can for their people."

What is the president doing/thinking about the situation? What options are he considering? 

"He is being presented with a lot of options. I would go back and echo the comments the president made in the Rose Garden. He is not one to telegraph those decisions until he is ready to make them." 

Does the administration regret how it handled the Nunes situation or will it change protocols going forward? How did Spicer and the administration find out about recusal?

"Um, I found out about it, by watching Fox News. It was on the television."

"I'm not aware... I saw it live."

"He was the one who requested to come see some things and then said he wanted to inform the president."

"We were informed of his desire to talk to the president through media reports."

"He was not invited to the White House."

"With respect, you're stating a fact that isn't true. He wasn't invited. Not that he wouldn't be, he's more than welcome to come, as is any member of Congress."

"By his own statement, he requested to come." 

"I'm not aware that we've done anything that would change how we would handle requests for information. 

"There has been no change in our policy."

BANNON/REMOVAL FROM NSC

President has full support for Bannon, Spicer says. Adds McMaster as national security adviser has autonomy over his national security council. 

Did McMaster make the decision to remove Bannon from NSC?

"Obviously, he's the national security adviser. He runs all of these major decisions and restructuring by the president." 

What will President Trump do if President Xi urges him to do more on climate change?

"We'll have an opportunity to talk to you guys at some point tomorrow. I'm not going to get ahead of the leaders discussing issues."

Does he plan to raise human rights?

"I don't want to get ahead of what they're going to discuss or not discuss." 

Does he feel, as the U.S. president that it's important that he discusses human rights?

"Obviously, human rights, trade. There are a lot of areas of economic and national security, human rights being one of them. There are things we will discuss in private. We will have a readout of those discussions."

HEALTH CARE

"We've had a continuation of discussions over the last several days.

"I think the idea is that we feel very good about where the discussions are going. Some of the language that is being updated is moving this in a very positive direction toward getting that 216."

GORSUCH swearing in

Earliest it could be is Monday. Could be Tuesday. 

"It would not be over the weekend."

ON CHINESE DELEGATION'S ACCOMMODATIONS

 "No one from the Chinese delegation is staying at Mar-a-Lago. They were invited, but it was a room size issue."

"They are staying just down the road."

Amid the gaggle, Spicer lost his balance for about eight seconds as the plane hit severe turbulence, with his coffee flying against the wall. It interrupted the gaggle for about 15 seconds. He eventually caught his balance by grabbing onto the wall and was helped to a seat by your pooler.



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