Editor’s note: Each week, WorldNetDaily White House correspondent Les Kinsolving asks the tough questions almost 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 Scott McClellan about the Palestinian Authority’s record at disarming terrorist groups and the future role of Hamas.
WND: Scott, on the road map, can you identify even one Palestinian terrorist group that has been disarmed by the Palestinian Authority in accordance with the Bush administration’s own road map? And I have a follow-up.
McCLELLAN: I think it’s important to look at some of the steps that have been taken. And the president talked about President Abbas the other day in the news conference. We look forward to having President Abbas visit Washington again so the president can talk to him about what we can do to support them in their efforts to move forward on the two-state vision that he outlined. But there have been some steps taken to address the security situation.
It’s important that they have a unified security structure. General Ward has been in the region working closely with the Palestinians to help put those security forces in place and have a unified structure to address some of these issues. But the road map is very clear in what it says. We’ve been very clear in what our views are, as well. And it’s important that the parties meet their obligations.
WND: In the event that Hamas, a terrorist organization not yet disarmed by the Palestinian Authority, wins a majority in the legislative PA, will the Bush administration still send $350 million U.S. taxpayer dollars to the PA, or not?
McCLELLAN: Les, it’s – the one thing that you see when people have elections that are free and fair is that they tend to choose people who are committed to improving their livelihood, not people who are committed to terrorist acts. And I think if you look back at the previous Palestinian elections, the people that were elected, while they might have been members of Hamas, they were business professionals. They were people that ran on talking about improving the quality of life for the Palestinian people and addressing their economic needs and addressing other needs that are important to them – not terrorists.