FADED CELEBRITY BARRY O IS AT THE CENTER OF THE STORM YET AGAIN -- BUT IT'S NO SEX SCANDAL.
INSTEAD HE'S ACCUSED OF SPYING ON PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP.
AN ANGRY BARRY O SPOKE EXCLUSIVELY TO THESE REPORTERS THIS MORNING INSISTING HE WAS INNOCENT.
"I NEVER SPIED ON TRUMP! WHAT YOU THINK I WANT TO SEE HIM IN THE SHOWER OR SOMETHING? I STOPPED SNEAK EYEING MEN IN THE SHOWERS WHEN I WAS 41!!!! SOME ARE ACCUSING ME OF SEDITION! SEDITION? I'VE NEVER WORKED THAT HARD IN MY LIFE! LOOK AT THESE NAILS!"
US President Donald Trump, this week, signed a new executive order regarding immigration.
We'll note this from the State Dept press briefing.
QUESTION: All right, last thing. On the executive order that was signed yesterday but which we all had a preview of, the immigration and refugee executive order.
MR TONER: Yep.
QUESTION: Since you knew that this was coming, and everyone basically knew it was coming since the first one came out, it calls for a review of the vetting procedures for not just refugees, but also on the terms of visa issuance. I’m wondering, since that review must be well along now, what deficiencies the reviewers have uncovered in the previous, or prior, or even current vetting processes.
MR TONER: Sure. Well, I mean, look – and this is elaborated in section five of the executive order – but it does call for the development of a uniform baseline for screening and vetting standards and procedures. And it also, as you noted, calls for progress reporting to the President beginning 60 days after the implementation date, which is March 16th. That said, some of this work was already underway from the previous EO.
I can’t get into too many specific details about what this report has uncovered thus far. We spoke with – and frankly, Secretary Tillerson spoke in respect to some of the progress that Iraq has made with regard to meeting some of the questions or some of the disconnects, if you will, in terms of information sharing and other procedures, that they’ve met those requirements – one of the reasons why Iraq was removed from the list of seven countries.
But this is all part of the executive order’s purpose, which is to review and improve our national security-focused visitor screening and vetting procedures. And the process, as I said, is ongoing.
QUESTION: So there hasn’t been any specific improvement so far --
MR TONER: Well, again, I mean, we’re always seeking to improve what we’re doing. And this is an iterative process. I mean, even before the executive order, we can say that it’s not like we just began this January 27th. But I think it was a renewed commitment to look at the procedures with how we vet both refugees incoming as well as immigrants – or rather, traveling public – into this country to ensure that we’re doing the necessary to provide for the security of Americans.
QUESTION: That suggests that the necessary wasn’t being done prior. Is that correct?
MR TONER: Not at all. And I think the Secretary spoke to this yesterday, when he said that this is – it’s almost impossible – and I’m paraphrasing him – for this to be infallible, this process. But we always have to strive to do so. And I think past administrations have done so as well. But I think the President clearly identified this as a security issue when he came into office, and now we’ve reissued the executive order yesterday – or issued a new executive order yesterday. But I can assure you that this is an ongoing process.
That was Tuesday's US State Dept press briefing, moderated by spokesperson Mark C. Toner.
Also the first State Dept press briefing of the new administration.
The day of the first press briefing.
And currently it's being classified as "press briefing" -- not daily press briefing.
Let's appeal to vanity and self-interest.
Trouble getting your message across?
Press briefings can help there.
It also means you're injecting another voice into the news cycle.
In addition, you're reaching Americans who view it on CSPAN, who view it online.
You are getting your message out.
It's to the administration's benefit to hold these.
Is it to the American people's benefit?
Yes, transparency is always a good thing.
It's a good thing in other ways.
It lets the American people, for example, see how hollow the press corp is.
Iraq is not part of the new executive order.
So Iraq was not of interest to the press.
They didn't ask one question.
The US has spent billions on Iraq since August 2014.
But heaven forbid the press provide oversight of where and how tax dollars are being spent.
They forget their job so often, so repeatedly.
If Donald Trump wants to get across the message that the press is not a friend of the people, daily press briefings where Iraq is ignored can underscore that perfectly.
Elise Labott was at yesterday's press briefing -- self-congratulating as always.
Was it surprising that she didn't bring up Iraq?
Day 142 of The Mosul Slog.
And what's Elise's 'big' contribution to the Mosul story?
Back in an October State Dept press briefing, Elise Labott screamed "NO!" in the middle of a press conference when a reporter referred to the Mosul operation as a slog.
Of course, it was a slog then.
It's a slog now.
So Elise plays dumb.
Well, she stays silent.
You can't play dumb if you are dumb, so let's just say she stays silent.
So many do.
Then there are those who don't but should.
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