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 White House news briefing, WND asked presidential press secretary Ari Fleischer about recent press reports covering a new phenomenon in the homosexual community: men who purposely seek to be infected with HIV – dubbed “bug chasers.”

The report drawing the most attention is in Rolling Stone magazine. Newsweek and the Washington Times have also covered the story.

One homosexual told Rolling Stone: “I think it turns the other guy on to know that I’m [HIV] negative and that they’re bringing me into the brotherhood. That gets me off, too.”

WND asked Fleischer:

WND: In view of recent wire service reports of an increase – startling increase in cases of AIDS, HIV and syphilis in New York and California, as well as this morning’s Washington Times Page 1 story, does the president believe there are no such things as “bug chasers”?

FLEISCHER: I’m not aware of what you’re talking about, Lester.

WND: Page 1. These are people in the homosexual community that feel it’s erotic to contract AIDS. And this is what is reported –

FLEISCHER: I’ve no idea what you’re talking about, Lester.

WND: You don’t read the Washington Times?

FLEISCHER: Of course, I do.

WND: You do? Well, then what about it? You must have read the story?

FLEISCHER: Lester, I expressed yesterday the president’s thoughts about AIDS and people who have AIDS. And the president’s thoughts are that people who have AIDS deserve to be treated with care and with compassion –

WND: The ones that went after it to get it?

FLEISCHER: – that people need to be treated with care and compassion. He is very proud of the fact that his budget has unparalleled amounts of money, both foreign and domestic, to help people with AIDS.

Next, WND turned to recent anti-American comments by an Episcopal bishop.

WND: Ari, the Episcopal Church’s presiding bishop, Frank Griswold, said – and this is a quote – “The United States is rightly hated and loathed for its reprehensible rhetoric and blind eye toward poverty and suffering. I’d like to be able to go somewhere in the world and not have to apologize for being from the United States.” My question is, does the president take this at all seriously, or does he categorize it with Sen. Patty Murray, who is now becoming known as Osama Mama?

FLEISCHER: Lester, I think the president has repeatedly said that – and you’ll hear this in the State of the Union from the president – that he believes that it’s important for our nation that we know ourselves to be as caring and compassionate people as we are; that that caring and compassionate record of the American people and of our United States government be shown and shared to the world. Some will see it that way; others may not. The president will continue to focus on what he knows the United States represents, which is a wonderful beacon of caring and compassion around the world.

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