At Thursday’s White House press briefing Robert Gibbs took a question about Senator Kit Bond’s (r) continuing temper tantrum over briefings concerning the underwear bomber. The White House is not curling up in the corner and saying, “Please. Don’t. Hurt. Me.” on this one:
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
February 11, 2010
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
….1:05 P.M. EST
….Q Senator Bond accused the White House of using JohnmBrennan for political purposes, saying that he was being — doing the role, your role. This economic report —
MR. GIBBS: Let me just address that. Let’s understand this: John Brennan has been working in counterterrorism for more than 25 years — right? First as a CIA agent hired by President George W. Bush to work at the CIA, and then to stand up the National Counterterrorism Center. Okay? We asked him to stay on. I don’t have the slightest idea what political party John Brennan is a member of. I’ve never had a political conversation with John. I know this: John is there each and every day working in his office to try to do everything he can to keep the American people safe.
And I would suggest, whether it’s to Senator Bond or others on Capitol Hill, that these are decisions best left to people that have an understanding of counterterrorism, experience in counterterrorism and law enforcement, rather than to politicians on Capitol Hill.
Q But his specific accusation was that he was being used in a way that a press secretary is supposed to — I mean, that he was enunciating Obama’s policy.
MR. GIBBS: I think Kit Bond didn’t — I don’t think Kit Bond liked to hear what he already knew, which was he’d been told that Abdulmutallab was in FBI custody after what happened on Christmas Day.
Now, I’ll let you, Jonathan, ask Kit Bond whether he understands the protocols of how the FBI deals with suspects enough to understand that at that point it would have been obvious he would have been read his Miranda rights. I don’t know whether Kit Bond was confused or whether he just doesn’t want to admit the facts….
I vote for “C”, both of the above.