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FishPoolDC: Our Insider’s Notes From Friday’s Press Briefing

“Iran, We’re Just Not That Into You”?: Pushback on WH response to the growing Iranian tension continued today as reporters challenged whether the House resolution expressing support for Tehran’s demonstrators was meant to fill a void left by a restrained executive branch. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs argued that the WH welcomes the resolution, and that their remarks have been “consistent with” what passed today. “It’s not though,” AP’s Jennifer Loven replied. Gibbs retained the careful posture of the WH on the issue, saying, “We’re not going to be used as political foils and political footballs” and later: “There are people in Iran that would love for us to get involved… to make this about Iran versus the West or Iran versus the United States of America.”

If A=B and B=C…: CBS’s Chip Reid followed on the Iranian issue to ask for clarification on whether POTUS had condemned the “actions of the Iranian government.” “He has condemned the violence,” Gibbs said, and Reid interrupted to question whether that included the ayatollah. “Well, the violence is being conducted by the government,” he said, identifying the photos that POTUS reacted to on Monday as those featuring the Revolutionary Guard.

Take Me Out to the South Lawn: In a rare return to his baseball analogy days, RG was asked “what inning” the health care ballgame — which has gotten stickier in the past few days — is in right now. “Early! Maybe second,” he said. “You still have plenty of time to get a beer and a hot dog.” The concession stand reference was not lost on this reporter, who was already distracted by the wafts of summertime grilling leaking in from the South Lawn, where POTUS was to host pre-Father’s Day festivities.


IG Issue 1 of 2: More questions arose about Special TARP Inspector General Neil Barofsky‘s requests for AIG documents from the Treasury Department, which were allegedly a struggle to obtain. ABC’s Jake Tapper, dissatisfied with what he was hearing from the podium, said it straight: “Could you actually answer my question? I understand the talking points.” Gibbs countered, in so many words, that the implication of impropriety was null since Barofsky now “has the documents [he] wanted.”

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