Press Gaggle by Dana Perino and Dr. Ali Al-Dabbagh, Spokesman for the Government of Iraq
White House Conference Center Briefing Room
9:40 A.M. EDT
MS. PERINO: Good morning. I'm going to do the schedule, and then I have a special guest.
At 7:35 a.m. this morning, the President taped his radio address; the topic is the Iraq war supplemental and the need to fund our troops in Iraq. Saturday will be 68 days since the President sent Congress an emergency war spending bill that would provide the vital funds needed for our troops on the front lines.
At 7:40 a.m., he had his normal briefings. At 8:30 a.m. -- you've already heard the President, who made remarks at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast. At 11:25 a.m. he'll have some policy time. And at 1:15 p.m. he will be meeting with parochial education leaders and parents to discuss the status and value of Catholic education and his priorities for expanding educational options for low-income students during reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act this year, and the D.C. School Choice Incentive Act by next year. That's pool at the bottom. And at 2:10 p.m., the President and Mrs. Bush depart for Camp David -- and then I know that you all depart soon after that on Friday afternoons.
MS. PERINO: Some of us have to work around here. (Laughter.)
Q: We need to keep an eye on you -- (laughter.)
MS. PERINO: I have the great pleasure today of introducing to you Dr. Al-Dabbagh, who is the government spokesperson for Iraq. And he's going to be here to answer a few of your questions. I'll finish up on all your other topics that you want to cover. And then he does have a little bit of time on the back end if you wanted to speak with him individually. We're really glad he's here.
DR. AL-DABBAGH: Good morning, everyone. Thank you.
Q: Good morning.
DR. AL-DABBAGH: Thank you very much for this opportunity. I'm here and ready for any questions.
Q: Earlier this year, sir, the United Nations assistance mission for Iraq issued a human rights report, and it described death squad killings and other attacks on Iraqis specifically because they're homosexual. And according to an Associated Press report, you responded, "There was information in the report we cannot accept here in Iraq. The report, for example, spoke about the phenomena of homosexuality and giving them their rights. Such statements are not suitable for the Iraqi society. This is rejected. They should respect the values and traditions here in Iraq."
My question is, does the Iraqi government condemn the killings of Iraqis targeted specifically because they're homosexual? And what does the government consider the rights of Iraqi homosexuals to be?
DR. AL-DABBAGH: Iraqi government condemn each and every killing -- whoever are being killed, definitely we condemn it, due to any reasons. But, nevertheless, the United Nations report -- we have our comments, we say that you should be on site to take a proper and actual, what's going on there. And I think that the other reports -- their reports which is coming, which shows how they are more constrictive on covering Iraq.
Q: Recently we have seen civil attacks inside the Green Zone -- how concerned are you that there are enablers or people infiltrating inside the government or the parliament that may have facilitated this bombing inside the Green Zone?
DR. AL-DABBAGH: The terrorist attack is -- definitely it takes some time to measure. And the Iraqi government is taking all the steps and all the measures to stop all the threat, all the places -- some of the soft places probably sometimes due to the penetration of some of those who have been privileged and given certain permission to enter the Green Zone has been misused, and some things have been passed the checkpoint.
Q: There is concern about the military and the police being full of militia members. What is your government doing to screen these people and ensure their loyalty to the government?
DR. AL-DABBAGH: The Minister of Interior, until now, they had 14,000 persons. And they are restructuring the whole Ministry of Interior, in order to keep the standards of human rights appreciation, in order to keep the -- just a week back we had a trial and hearing of one of the senior officers in the Minister of Interior, because he tortured. The government of Iraq is doing all the measurement in order to keep all the levels of the police accountable for any violation of the human rights.
Q: This isn't just human rights, this is in terms of members of the Iraqi police and members of the Iraqi military being members of the various sectarian militias. And, therefore, their loyalty might be divided.
DR. AL-DABBAGH: Even the militias, even anyone who is favoring a militia, you keep accountable and part of those 14,000, which has been fired. We have those who are feeling sympathy to some of the militias.
Q: Thank you, Doctor. There has been criticism in this country that the actual U.S. aid that goes to the troops never really filters down to the ground, after it goes to the Ministries of Defense and Interior. I'm sure you're aware of the criticism, and the talk that the U.S. should just give the money to the troops on the ground. What's being done to alleviate this problem and make sure our aid actually gets to the people on the ground?
DR. AL-DABBAGH: As you know, that since the government -- since this government, the level of accountability being raised, the transparencies being raised. Definitely we had problems due to the 35 years, and then one more, four years or three more years which keep the situation and the accountability much less. So there is a good measure now. You could find that the corruption comes down to the minimum level, but still there is a corruption. Iraqi government is fighting and the Integrity Commission is working on full authority. All the other monitoring authorities is working in order to keep the integrity of (inaudible).
Q: Thank you. Is Iraq in the middle of a civil war right now?
DR. AL-DABBAGH: Never. There is war against civilians. There is a war against Iraqi people. There are groups which they want to destroy Iraq and to destroy the region, to destroy all the Iraq. That is what you see in al Anbar. It's a few Sunnis, but then there are al Qaeda attacking those. And in Baghdad it's a common -- yesterday what you saw in the parliament. Again, this is -- all Iraqis are represented there, but they had attack. So it is not a civil war at all.
Q: Doctor, how do the Iraqi people see the U.S. troop surge working? Do they believe that there is some progress? And, secondly, there's a lot of debate here about whether or not the Democrats in Congress, if they are right in calling for U.S. troops to be withdrawn by early next year? How do the Iraqis feel about those proposals?
DR. AL DABBAGH: The Iraqis are represented by the parliament and the government, elected government. And the troops are as per the invitation of the government, and they had approved last year. And there are minorities, which they are expressing their -- what you saw in Najaf, few thousands come out. And this is freedom of expression. It's good, rather than attacking America. But is also a remark that the -- within these four years, the people have the liberty to express their feeling, but at the end, majority of Iraqis, they do appreciate what the troops have done. The troops have liberated Iraqi people from Saddam, and at the end, that we feel that the American troops could do -- complete their job of training and having Iraqi security forces ready to take the security and transfer --
Q: --do it by early next year, say, March, 2008?
DR. AL DABBAGH: Well, it is -- there is a time schedule, which we -- the Iraqi government had implemented in order to have the security forces, Iraqi security forces well trained and ready to transfer. We had transfer of control in different governments. We have on 17th of April, Maysan government will be transferred to Iraqis, and so on until end of this year. By that time, we feel that there will be a good situation that the Iraqi forces, and then it will open the door for negotiating about the withdrawal of the Americans.
Q: What brings you to Washington?
DR. AL DABBAGH: Pardon?
Q: What brings you to Washington?
DR. AL DABBAGH: Brings me in Washington to reflect the actual what's going on there in Iraq, and to show that what the positive thing what is going there in Iraq, it is not only just bomb. There are a lot of things positive is going there in Iraq, four years of liberation -- after liberation from Saddam Hussein and having the new democracy in Iraq, although that there are -- we have facing -- we are facing the difficulties and problems, especially in the security. But Iraqi people are working hard in order to build up their country.
Q: Doctor, what would happen in Iraq if U.S. troops leave early next year?
DR. AL-DABBAGH: We feel that the premature withdrawal, it would be a great gift for those who did yesterday attack, and definitely it will make a vacuum of power in Iraq, which is not desirable by anyone. That is why we feel that a job should be done collectively between us and the international troops in order to put the Iraqi forces ready to take responsibility.
Q: How long do you think there needs to be a U.S. presence?
DR. AL-DABBAGH: It is difficult to do a time limit, but we do feel that we are in a good way. Now what we did, President Bush and the Prime Minister had in a good way that there will be a speeding up of the training of the Iraqi forces which will entitle the American, the Iraqi to negotiate about certain withdrawal.
Q: How many Iraqis have been killed in this war?
DR. AL-DABBAGH: Pardon?
Q: How many Iraqis have been killed?
DR. AL-DABBAGH: How many Iraqis have been killed? I will let you know that we have 3 million Iraqis being killed at the time of Saddam. And this is a continuation --
Q: I didn't ask you that.
DR. AL-DABBAGH: Yes, I'm replying -- I know that you didn't ask, but this is a continuation of that war. I feel that we don't have that figure exactly, but I guess that is exceeding 50,000 number has been killed by the terrorist groups.
Q: By the terrorists, but not by the Americans?
DR. AL-DABBAGH: Well, you could find that there is people who are fighting the Americans -- Americans, they are not going to honor them. Iraqi troops, as well -- Iraqi troops kill some of those people who fight; they are not going to honor them, even though they call themselves, that they are resistant, or national resistant. Those who are breaking the law, definitely they will be attacked.
Q: Do you have some kind of record of Iraqi dead?
DR. AL-DABBAGH: The Iraqi -- until now, the Iraqi government, they don't have a proper -- because of the different way and different attacks has been in different places, especially in Baghdad. Until now we are talking about that the casualties, which is 2006, which was very high. Now, due to the security, we feel that it becomes less. But I can't give any figure because we don't have the means and the measure to count the dead.
Q: A while ago a number of Russian embassy staffers were kidnapped and they were killed in Iraq. Do you have any information as to how the investigation is going, if there is any progress? Can you give any example of a killing of this sort actually being solved in Iraq?
DR. AL-DABBAGH: You mean last year, two years back? Yes. This is part of the attack against Iraqis, which they attack the embassies, attack the diplomats and attack Iraqi people. We feel that al Qaeda and the people are connected with al Qaeda, they want to put the Iraqi government in a critical situation by attacking the diplomat.
Q: Doctor, the administration here often cites progress on the national oil law and de-Baathification. Yet, those benchmarks have not been met yet. What is the progress report on those?
DR. AL-DABBAGH: The hyrdocarbon law is already approved by the cabinet, and we are waiting on the revenue sharing law to be also submitted to the cabinet to be approved, and then simultaneously they will go to the council of representatives, in order to be approved.
Q: But it's been in that spot for a while. It's been approved from the cabinet. What's the time line for getting approved by the parliament?
DR. AL-DABBAGH: It has been submitted to the -- it's got a priority. The priority is in the house of representatives. They've got their priority. But we feel that this is very urgent, and the government do urge the council to approve it, along with the revenue sharing, which is very, very important. The de-Baathification, as you said, there are a draft -- four draft being submitted. One of them is the by -- presidency council and the cabinet council, and it is now in the council of representatives, along with the other three drafts, which they are going to get one draft in order to get it approved.
Q: So if you were to predict when those things would pass, what's the time line? A couple months, end of the summer, this year?
DR. AL-DABBAGH: We thought that 2007 is the year where all this important laws will be decided, also the election, government election as well.
Q: I don't intend this as an insult, I really don't understand -- if our country was going to send somebody, say, to talk to Germany about relationships between the U.S. and Germany, they would hardly send the White House press spokesperson, they would send a diplomat. I mean, are you more than just the press spokesperson? Are you some kind of a diplomat, as well? Why are you here?
DR. AL-DABBAGH: I am here to give -- to talk on some of the institutions, some surge institutions, as well as to convey the message of Iraqi people to the Americans. I'm not a diplomat, I am a spokesman of the Iraqi government. I am representing the Iraqi government, as well as Iraqi people, in order to convey the truth and reality.
Q: Could you please explain why we hear a lot of complaints from the American government about the Iranian interference and Iran supplying militants inside Iraq with weapons that harm American soldiers, and we hardly hear the Iraqis voicing this concern? Do you think there is a reason for concern, or it's just an American-Iranian affair?
DR. AL-DABBAGH: Definitely, there is an interference from the Iranian in Iraqi affairs, we don't deny that. And we feel that the improvement and the better relations between the United States and Iran could minimize, could make the interference less. But even if the Americans withdraw totally from Iraq, the influence of the Iran will not be limited.
Q: Doctor, the debate here -- I assume you are following this closely, the debate here in the United States and in Congress is about whether the surge can succeed, whether the United States has done all it can do in Iraq. What do you say to the high percentage of the American public that thinks this is unwinnable now, and to those in Congress who say this is up to the Iraqis to find a political solution, and it's time for the United States to go?
DR. AL-DABBAGH: We, Iraqi, we do understand that American troops there they did very good job. Beside defeating and combating those terrorist group, they did good job in reconstruction and different aspect in Baghdad and the government, even the al-Anbar, which is a very sensitive and hot -- one of the hot places for us.
But I am sure that the Americans are keep playing the positive role there in Iraq. And we are definitely, all the Iraqi -- majority of Iraq, they appreciate all what has been done by the Americans, and we are looking for the day that -- and the Americans also looking for the day that the good, and not a premature withdrawal. Until then, there is a threat which should be addressed. This is not only Iraqis, not against Iraq, but is against all international community, against all the region.
Sorry, I have to leave. Excuse me. Thank you very much.
Q: Do you know where Muqtada al-Sadr is?
DR. AL-DABBAGH: No, we don't have information, Iraqi government. But it's not so important for us to know where he is in Iraq. He is allowed to move anywhere he wants, there is nothing against him from Iraqi government.
Q: Is Saddam's nephew still at large?
DR. AL-DABBAGH: Saddam nephew?
Q: His nephew who escaped from prison.
DR. AL-DABBAGH: Yes, still, he escaped -- we don't catch him.
Thank you very much. Thank you, sir.
Q: Dr. Perino?
MS. PERINO: I wish. I was going to leave him up here to answer all your other questions. (Laughter.) But I have a feeling -- we could do the week ahead, but -- okay, go ahead. Fire away.
Q: Is it the White House understanding that at least four years' worth of Karl Rove's emails are missing from RNC servers?
MS. PERINO: No, that's not my understanding.
Q: Isn't this --
MS. PERINO: Do you mean from the earlier time frame, from the beginning of the administration?
MS. PERINO: I don't understand the technicalities of it all. I will -- that's one of the things that I will ask them. What I do know is that, you're right, that from 2004, he was -- he and other White House officials were removed from the RNC's automatic 30-day deletion policy.
Q: But you're aware of the story that the RNC council supposedly told the Hill that a bunch of Rove emails are missing.
MS. PERINO: No, I didn't read that report. I'm sorry. Did I miss it? Is that -- (laughter.)
Look, we have a review that's ongoing. Our Counsel's Office is talking with their counsel's office. And to the extent that I can get you more information, I will. What I provided you yesterday is what I knew; that remains true today. I don't have a lot of new answers. There were a couple of other things that you asked, that folks in here asked yesterday, as, for example, whether the RNC had paid for phone lines and for the installation and the monthly bills on those. I did check that out, and the answer is, yes, they did.
Q: Do you know how many?
MS. PERINO: I don't know. That's why I have to get (inaudible) and come back here --
Q: Hard lines or cell phones or both? Dana, hard lines or cell phones or both?
MS. PERINO: Both.
Q: Has Karl Rove signed the new policy statement?
MS. PERINO: He's traveling, I don't know. He's out on the West Coast.
Q: Do we have any sense yet in the review of the volume of email that he uses, how much he used his EOP address, as compared to others?
MS. PERINO: I don't.
Q: What does he say has happened to them?
MS. PERINO: I haven't spoken to him. As I said, he's traveling.
Q: So he's made no statement?
MS. PERINO: He has not made a statement, no. Jim.
Q: I'm sorry, to clarify, so the phones that were installed, these were installed where? Sorry, you guys might know this, but --
MS. PERINO: Well, as I understand it, anyone that had one of these -- it's my understanding, and we will double check, but the specific question I had was, did the RNC pay for the installation and the monthly bills for the use of that equipment, in order to be able to be operable -- it's one thing to have a laptop, but not be able to plug it in anywhere. The plug-in part of it was what was paid for. And then monthly fees paid for by the RNC, as well.
Q: Okay, and then also -- so just to clarify, too, so Rove -- there was a three-day deletion policy that was automatic.
MS. PERINO: Thirty-day deletion policy at the RNC.
Q: Thirty-day. And that was suspended, but then -- are you guys confirming that Rove manually deleted his email?
MS. PERINO: No, no. I think that that is a hypothetical question. Is it possible that somebody, when you're cleaning out your inbox, that you would do that? But we have no indication that there was any improper use of these emails.
Q: Was Rove's email treated -- his account treated any differently than anyone else's?
MS. PERINO: At the RNC?
MS. PERINO: Yes, I believe so. Let me see if I can get this right -- and if I have to come back and clarify or give more detail, I will. But in 2004, the end of 2004 -- somewhere in 2004, his email, as well as other people that had these accounts, were exempted from the RNC's 30-day delete policy, in terms of, every 30 days they clean out their delete file, and those emails go on out to wherever they go. And there was the double-delete feature, as I understand it, was ended in January of 2006 -- looking over to Stanzel to confirm -- but January of 2006 for Karl. But I don't know about anybody else.
Q: Why was it changed for Karl?
MS. PERINO: I don't know.
Q: So you don't know if it was anybody -- there might have been others, also, or was it just him?
MS. PERINO: I don't know if it was anybody else. All I know was that it was for Karl's.
Q: Why was Karl's --
MS. PERINO: That's one of the things, Ann, I don't know.
Q: Was it a part of the Fitzgerald investigation?
MS. PERINO: I don't know.
Q: Dana, you and Scott have both talked about the abundance of caution that pushed people out of the EOP system to the RNC system. Now that abundance of caution was -- the abundance of caution was so that they would not violate the Hatch Act.
MS. PERINO: Right.
Q: And you guys also talked about this gray area, which is what -- the gray area, in terms of whether --
MS. PERINO: I think the gray area falls into the abundance of caution area.
Q: The gray area, is it political or is it official, we don't know. So the gray area pushed them out of the EOP to the RNC, right?
MS. PERINO: Right.
Q: But why wouldn't they be more careful, use that same abundance of caution to not violate the Presidential Records Act, if they're using the RNC accounts?
MS. PERINO: Again, we've see no basis to conclude that there was any improper intent in use of the RNC email system. And, remember, any email that was sent -- if they were on their BlackBerry and they wanted to send an email to me, or to anybody else within the EOP system, that email is available and archived.
Q: The clarification that you guys sent out yesterday -- is it your understanding that there were emails that had disappeared that were not manually deleted? Because initially I thought the explanation was that they had been manually deleted, you don't know by whom.
MS. PERINO: No, if I left that impression, I don't know if I meant to. I'm trying to make sure that I have the words exactly right, because what I wanted to clarify yesterday is, one of the things I said was that since 2004 people with email accounts, that those emails were archived. But I should have been more precise, and said that they were excluded from that 30-day delete policy. So they would be accessible.
Q: Archived where?
Q: But, again, initially it was our understanding -- and the information we got from Scott was that the missing emails were ones that had been in the deleted box, so they'd emptied the deleted box. So there was some human intervention.
MS. PERINO: I understand that that would be within the realm of possibility, but, Scott, if you have anything to --
MR. STANZEL: That is a possibility. So there is -- the policy in place prior to '04, to the deletion policy being turned off, there is concern with that. Since '04 we have -- it's our understanding from the RNC that White House staff with those accounts have been exempted from that deletion policy, but there's also been the issue of double-delete. So that is another concern.
Q: But what I'm saying is that the only mechanism for losing an email that you have ever described to us was this double deletion. Is there something else?
MR. STANZEL: No, no, no, no, no. No, that is not the only way that I've described this. I've described this as our assessment of the policy, going back to the beginning, is that it has not been robust enough, and that's the purpose of our review. So prior to 2004, those people were part of that automatic deletion policy.
Q: Since 2004, is there any way that emails could have disappeared, other than by human deletion?
MR. STANZEL: Maybe computer failure, things like that. But that is one of the concerns.
MS. PERINO: It's part of the review, and, again, as much as we would like to be able to give you all of the answers today, we're not going to be able to do that, and I would just ask you to bear with us while Scott and I work very hard, and as much as possible working with the IT folks and others to get answers to all of your questions.
Q: So, Dana, is it --
Q: How long will this review -- how long will it take you to do? Is it knowable?
MS. PERINO: I wouldn't put a time frame on it, but I know that people are -- there's resources dedicated to solving it quickly.
Q: And what does it take to violate the Presidential Records Act? I mean, if you conduct email -- if you conduct official business over email, and you delete it, why isn't that a violation?
MS. PERINO: Well, again, remember that there's, within the White House, 1,700 people who work there; one thousand are political appointees; 22 of these folks currently have GWB accounts. I'm not saying that all of them use them all of the time, that's not necessarily true. But there are those who have job descriptions which require them to do both White House official and political business, and the policy that had been stated -- that had been given to them before, in our opinion, was not clear enough because it basically said, you should do White House business on -- official business on your White House email account. Then there's extensive guidance on the Hatch Act and how to prevent violating the Hatch Act.
So one of the things that we've done, especially since technology has developed so quickly while we've been in office, is to adapt our policy, change our policy, make sure that it's much more clear, and make sure that people have a briefing on it and that they sign off that they have received that briefing.
Q: So working to comply with Hatch Act, it's possible that someone unwittingly violated the Presidential Records Act.
MS. PERINO: I think what I would say to you is that we've seen no basis to conclude that anyone intentionally or improperly used the RNC email system.
Q: Are you saying it's -- is it possible the White House will never know how many emails were lost and what subjects they covered?
MS. PERINO: It's something that -- we're trying to avoid that scenario. But is it within the realm of possibility that there might be -- that that might happen? It is within the realm of possibility, but we are working hard. One of the things I was asked yesterday was if we are working with outside forensics experts or inside forensics experts. I found out that we have begun conversations with outside forensics consultants who will presumably, hopefully, be able to gather whatever might have potentially been lost. And I think that's one of the problems here, is that we're talking about known unknowns, to bring back a favorite phrase.
Q: So when you hear somebody like Senator Leahy get on the floor and say that all of this is a bunch of bull, how do you respond?
MS. PERINO: Well, I responded yesterday, and I would say the same thing, that I can tell you that I am here, and I know that our policy, when we announced it the other -- or this issue, and our new policy, that we announced the other night, Wednesday night, was done with the utmost honesty, integrity and desire to be forthcoming.
And I have to stand up here in front of all of you every day and explain how we -- there are a lot of things that we don't know. It's not a comfortable position, but it was one that we thought was the most important -- the most ethical way for us to let the committee know what we were working to find out, the things that we don't know and how we are working to find them out; and in addition to that, that we changed the policy because, as I said, we screwed up and we are working to fix it.
Q: Do you have any further information on the suggestion that some of the official -- the emails from the official WHO --
MS. PERINO: No, I'm looking into that. There was an assertion yesterday by one of the groups, outside groups, that outside of -- take apart -- we're not talking about GWB emails, but within the EOP system, that there had been a gap or that there had been upwards of 5 million emails that were missing. Scott and I are looking into that; we're talking to the Office of Administration.
Now, one of the things that occurred -- and we're also trying to figure out how many emails possibly could be sent by 1,700 employees on a daily basis. I don't know if the numbers are staggering. My inbox is staggering so -- we'll work to find that out. But there was a conversion sometime between 2002 and 2003 to convert people that were using Lotus Notes when we first arrived to Microsoft Outlook. And I know that the tech people worked to get us all transferred over. We had to save our Word documents and all to make sure that they weren't lost in that transition.
I don't have a specific number for you. Again, I wouldn't rule out that there were a potential 5 million emails lost, but we'll see if we can get to you. If it was 5 million, I think that, again, out of 1,700 people using email every day, again, there was no intent to have lost them.
And in addition to that, I think one of the things that we're talking about here, when you're asking about double-delete and what were the motivations, that is separate and apart from what we're talking about here, which is no one -- no person that was actually doing official government work or talking to any other outside groups or to the media would have known that their files would have -- that some of the emails would have been inadvertently lost in a transition of conversion of a technical sort.
Q: Dana, can I follow up on that real quick. So this allegation about the 5 million missing emails refers only, as you understand it, to this 2002-2003 time period?
MS. PERINO: I don't know the time period. I'm saying 2002-2003 because that's when I worked at CEQ, and that's when I know that I got -- I moved from Lotus Notes to Microsoft Outlook. We'll get the dates for you. It was a rolling system in order to make sure that people weren't disrupted from their work.
Q: As far as you know, is there any allegation of sort of a large data loss of that after 2004, or would it only go --
MS. PERINO: Not that I'm aware of.
Q: On the RNC policies, I just want to reiterate this back to you. This is all very confusing for all of us, make sure that I'm understanding what you said. There were two different RNC policy changes. In 2004, automatic 30-day purge was rescinded for the 22 White House --
MS. PERINO: For people who had GWB accounts.
Q: -- with GWB accounts.
MS. PERINO: Remember, the 22 people are ones who currently have them. And as I told you yesterday, from the beginning of the administration, a total of 50. So I can't tell you --
Q: Right. Whichever number in 2004 had GWB accounts, that the 30-day automatic purge was rescinded for them. The impetus --
MS. PERINO: They were excluded from that policy, that's my understanding.
Q: And the impetus for that change in policy was --
MS. PERINO: I don't know.
Q: Okay, unknown. In 2006, alone among White House staffers with GWB accounts, Karl Rove's account is changed from -- so that he is not able to use the double-delete function. That double-delete function remained in for the other White House staffers with GWB accounts.
MS. PERINO: That I'm not sure of, but I will check into, to make sure I have that right. I know for sure for Karl, but I don't know about the others.
Q: Do you know at what point in 2006 this subsequently changed?
MS. PERINO: January.
Q: January 2006. And do we know what the impetus was for that change?
MS. PERINO: That's what I don't know.
Q: You're going to work on getting the answers to those?
MS. PERINO: We're working on getting them. I'll do what I can. And, again, there is a review that's ongoing by our Counsel's Office. And there may be some things that I'm not going to be able to provide answers to while that process is ongoing. I will do my best.
Q: Did he know that the double-delete didn't work for him in 2006?
MS. PERINO: I don't know and will try to find out.
Q: Week ahead?
MS. PERINO: But, again, let me just remind you, we have no indications that there was improper intent when using these RNC emails.
Q: But that just raises the question of why he was singled out for removal from the double-delete --
MS. PERINO: I think it's a fair question, and I'll take it back.
Q: Dana, if a staffer on the EOP system receives an email, is that archived, or only if the staffer sends an email?
MS. PERINO: Both.
MS. PERINO: Yes. So if you send me an email --
Q: That's archived?
MS. PERINO: Yes. I hope Schumer doesn't get those. (Laughter.) I'm kidding. He has nothing to worry about. (Laughter.)
Q: I hear another "screw up" statement coming. (Laughter.)
Q: Sounds like an exemption.
Q: The loss of emails, though, when you transitioned, you don't rule out that 5 million could be missing?
MS. PERINO: I'm not going to rule that out, no.
Q: I mean, it sounds like you know that a lot of emails are missing.
MS. PERINO: I don't know how many are missing. What I'm telling you is, to avoid myself getting into another "22" versus "handful" conversation, I'm telling you I am not ruling it out.
Q: When was this discovered? Are we able to find --
MS. PERINO: I don't know. I don't know.
Q: In the last couple days or are we talking about --
MS. PERINO: We're talking to the Office of Administration and trying to find out.
Q: At the time, or just now?
MS. PERINO: No, I think that it had been known before.
Q: Would 5 million be a handful or -- (laughter.)
MS. PERINO: Really big hand. I'm going to go to Andre.
Q: Thank you. Thank you, Dana. I wanted to ask you about Paul Wolfowitz. He's under a cloud. Do you still support him fully?
MS. PERINO: Yes, the President has confidence in Paul Wolfowitz and his work at the World Bank. At the organization, he has worked to lift people out of poverty around the world. He has focused his priorities on Africa, good governance, and how the World Bank can respond better and more efficiently to crises around the world.
He is talking with his board at the Bank. The board is performing a review, and I'll leave it at that.
Q: And does that -- still a follow-up is, does that include instructions to your executive director at the Bank to do everything possible to prevent him from being removed?
MS. PERINO: I've not heard that. No, I mean, I think that is an independent organization and that review is being done by their board.
Q: But the board -- the board includes directors from the national government, you have your own director there.
MS. PERINO: I'll check, Andre, but, no, I didn't hear that this morning.
Q: And since it's the end of the week and I've been away for a few days, what's the latest on Tony?
MS. PERINO: Tony is doing really well. Really well. You guys will -- he's going to give a commencement address at Catholic on May 12th. So if that's any indication of how he's doing, it's really good.
Jim, last one, and then I'm going to do the week ahead.
Q: Okay, this is a quick two-parter. Karl Rove, I'm told, has multiple email accounts during this whole time at the White House, and he's conducted business over multiple accounts, not just two.
MS. PERINO: It's our understanding that those all funnel into one place.
Q: Okay. Number two, at different times during this administration foreign securities services have tried to penetrate the White House email system. Is the NSA or the FBI or somebody who monitors the White House email system to protect it from infiltration -- and wouldn't they have a record of --
MS. PERINO: I wouldn't comment at all on any of our security measures, especially when we're preventing foreign entities from trying to access it.
Q: But they're --
MS. PERINO: I'm not going to comment on it, Jim.
Go ahead, Maura.
Q: Is the White House policy on how to comply with various obligations under the Hatch Act and the government's record act, is that policy a public document that --
MS. PERINO: It hasn't been, it's been an internal White House document.
Q: Could that be reviewed?
MS. PERINO: I'll take it under consideration.
Q: Dana, any decision on releasing the list of 22 who have the RNC accounts?
MS. PERINO: I'm working on that one, too. Not so far.
Q: How many email accounts did Karl have?
MS. PERINO: I don't know. (Laughter.) Can I do the week ahead, please? (Laughter.)
Q: Is there a Hotmail? (Laughter.)
MS. PERINO: Okay. On Monday, the President will make remarks on the Iraq war supplemental in the Rose Garden at the White House, open press.
MS. PERINO: At 10:55 a.m.
Q: Q: and A?
MS. PERINO: Not expected.
At 1:45 p.m. on Tuesday, the President will make remarks at a tax family reunion. Remember, that's the day you've got to get your taxes in.
April 18th, the President will visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. He will make a statement on global war on terror.
MS. PERINO: It says we'll provide more details when we can, so that seems to me that we're trying to figure out how many people we can get in there.
On Thursday, he will travel to Ohio, then return to Washington -- so just a day trip. The topic will be the global war on terror.
Q: Do you know where in Ohio?
MS. PERINO: No. We'll get that to you as soon as we can.
And then on Friday, a day trip to Michigan, returning to Washington, but again, same topic. And, Saturday, the President will make remarks at the ever anticipated White House Correspondents Dinner.
Q: What's Wednesday? Is that the Holocaust?
Q: I'm missing Tuesday.
MS. PERINO: Did you miss a day?
MS. PERINO: Tuesday? Tax family reunion.
Q: Oh, that's Tuesday.
MS. PERINO: Okay. Can I go now? (Laughter.) Thank you.
END 10:18 A.M. EDT
George W. Bush, Press Gaggle by Dana Perino and Dr. Ali Al-Dabbagh, Spokesman for the Government of Iraq Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/273114