Today’s Qs for O’s WH – 7/30/2009

TAPPER: Two questions, Robert, first one having to do with the Gates-Crowley meeting today. If we're not going to be able to listen to the conversation and the three men are not going to talk to the press afterwards --

GIBBS: Well, I don't know -- I don't -- the decision by Sergeant Crowley or Professor Gates to talk to the press is entirely up to them.

TAPPER: Well, but you're not going to orchestrate it here at the White House is all I meant. But --

GIBBS: No, I mean, it -- again, I have not talked to them or their representatives. If they want to go to the stakeout, they're certainly welcome to do that.

TAPPER: Okay. But the -- I guess the question is, the president said he wanted --

GIBBS: Keep going.

TAPPER: -- the president said he wants this to be a teachable moment. How do you envision this being a teachable moment?

GIBBS: Well, I think the -- I think many people would have hardly imagined something like this happening this time last week. I think having them get together to talk -- the president talked to both of these men last week. They're decent, honorable, good men. To get together and talk about what's going on in this country is a positive thing, even if you're not able to hear each and every word of it. I think -- I think that kind of dialogue is what has to happen at every level of -- every level of our society if we're going to make progress on issues that have -- we've been dealing with for quite some time.

TAPPER: I guess I could just request, I'm sure on everybody's behalf, that we find out and have as thorough a debrief from you as possible, so that we can make it as much of a teachable moment as possible.

GIBBS: I will try to -- I'm not -- I won't be there, but I will endeavor to see what I can get.

TAPPER: You’re close with one of the guys who will.

GIBBS: I know the president, yes.

TAPPER: All right. The second question has to do with the exportation of electronic waste to other countries. The General Accounting Office -- I'm sorry, the Government Accountability Office last year said the U.S. lets its electronic waste, which can be toxic, flow virtually unrestricted to other countries, such as Ghana, where we just were a few weeks ago. A critic of the EPA a year ago, Democratic Congressman Gene Green of Houston, says the current EPA is not doing any better job of monitoring the exportation of its electronic waste. As I'm sure you know, the United States is one of the few industrialized country that lets this exportation happen. What steps does the Obama administration intend to take to prevent this from happening?

GIBBS: Let me talk to the EPA and try to get back to you on that.

-- jpt

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