Editor’s note: Each week, WorldNetDaily White House correspondent Les Kinsolving asks the tough questions no one else will ask. And each week, WorldNetDaily brings you the transcripts of those dialogues with the president and his spokesman. If you’d like to suggest a question for the White House, submit it to WorldNetDaily’s exclusive interactive forum MR. PRESIDENT!
At today’s daily White House news briefing, the first question posed to Presidential Press Secretary Ari Fleischer came from John Cochran of ABC, who asked:
Q: If the Senate should pass a bill on guns in the cockpit, the way that the House has, would the president veto it? Would the president veto the bill as passed by the House?
FLEISCHER: John, the president’s view is that what is important is to provide the maximum safety for passengers in the air, and that’s why under his proposals the Transportation Security Administration has beefed-up screening, has reinforced cockpit doors and has taken a series of measures to improve safety. The president relies on the judgments of the experts about whether or not allowing pilots to be armed comports with the safety requirements the president seeks. So there’s no change in the president’s position from what he’s talked about before.
Q: So he is opposed to guns in the cockpit?
FLEISCHER: The president makes his decisions based on what he believes promote the most safety aboard an aircraft. And based on the advice he’s got from his advisers, he believes that arming pilots in the manner described does not promote safety.
Near the end of the briefing, after repeated Fleischer needlings about where I was seated (but no recognition for questions), he finally recognized WND for the following question:
WND: I’ve heard almost no White House objection to the El-Al Israeli security officer who shot and killed that Arab murderer in the L.A. airport. And since an overwhelming majority of the president’s fellow Republicans in the House just voted in favor of stopping the disarmament of our airline pilots, my question is, is there any chance the president will now stop listening to Democrats Mineta and Magaw and give our pilots the same right as that Israeli security officer in the L.A. airport?
FLEISCHER: Lester, you must have been so busy marching up and down the aisle, you missed Mr. Cochran’s question, which was the same question with a little bit different –
WND: I heard it. This is a variation of that.
FLEISCHER: Yours are always variations of other people’s questions.
WND: No, they are not. In keeping with the president’s statement that we are at war, not only with terrorists but those countries that harbor terrorists, wouldn’t that be more clearly demonstrated if we had U.S. Special Forces join the most recent Israeli army occupation, which has resulted in no more suicide bombing?
Was my question the same as John Cochran’s? I think not – not at all. What I think is that if President George W. Bush succeeds in keeping our pilots disarmed and terrorists capture a civilian plane with a disarmed pilot – and F16s shoot it out of the sky – this utter disaster could cause Bush to be a one-term president.
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