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, WND was alone in asking Presidential Press Secretary Ari Fleischer about two recent actions by State Department officials.
Eighty-five members of Congress have protested the e-mailed insult of veteran New York Republican Congressman Ben Gilman by State’s John Bargeron and James Puleo.
Gilman, a decorated veteran of World War II and a member of Congress for 30 years, is announcing his retirement. Bargeron’s e-mail predicted, “He will announce that he has discovered that he died back in ’92, but that no one noticed till now,” to which Puleo replied also on e-mail, “I thought it was he who had no brain, like the Scarecrow.”
For this, they were only reprimanded, rather than fired, by Secretary of State Colin Powell.
WND also asked Fleischer about National review reporter Joel Mowbray, who was detained by State Department police after he exposed the department’s Visa Express program, which allowed three of the 9-11 hijackers into the U.S. and which led to the resignation of the program’s chief, Mary Ryan.
Reporter Mowbray was held by State Department police after he also exposed a cable from the U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
This holding of an accredited reporter for half an hour was extensively reported by both the Washington Post and the Washington Times.
Here was how WND questioned Fleischer about the matter:
WND: Does the president believe that those two State Department officials who e-mailed their insults of Congressman Ben Gilman should have been merely reprimanded, rather than fired, with not even a reprimand for whoever it was that ordered the State Department police to detain reporter Joel Mowbray, as extensively reported in both the Post and the Times?
FLEISCHER: I’m not familiar with the e-mails, Lester.
WND: What about Joel Mowbray? That was reported, you must have been familiar, because both of Washington’s dailies reported this. How does the president stand on that? Does he feel that reporters should be detained by police?
FLEISCHER: The president understands that the law is the law, and the law should be enforced, and that reporters have a right to report.
In regard to reports that throughout the nation there are organized efforts to let felons vote, WND asked:
WND: Does the president believe that felons who break the law should be allowed to vote for those who make the law?
FLEISCHER: The president believes that’s a matter for each state to look at their own laws, which jurisdictionally –
WND: How did he feel in Texas? Did he – did he –
FLEISCHER: I’d have to take a look at the law in Texas, Lester. I don’t know it off the top of my head.
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