Did Obama’s Staff Inappropriately Release “Private” Details of His Talk With President Bush?

The Drudge Report, the Associated Press and the New York Times are quoting segments of the “private” Oval Office discussion between President Bush and President Elect Barack Obama, quoting Obama aides.

The quotes started from the Obama side soon after the Oval Office meeting.  Yesterday the White House added some detail.

A President-Elect putting pressure on a lame duck president seems inappropriate, unnecessary and a breach of protocol.  One side’s aides discussing details of the agreed upon provate discussion? Ditto.

But this may just be part of the routine activities of the Kabuki Dance that is a time-honored part of the transition of a new president…..


President Bush and President-elect Barack Obama meet in the ...
President Bush and President-elect Barack Obama meet in the Oval Office, November 10, 2008.(White House photo by Eric Draper/Handout/Reuters)


By Jackie Calmes
The New York Times

The struggling auto industry was thrust into the middle of a political standoff between the White House and Democrats on Monday as President-elect Barack Obama urged President George W. Bush to support immediate emergency aid.

Bush indicated at the meeting that he might support some aid and a broader economic stimulus package if Obama and congressional Democrats dropped their opposition to a free-trade agreement with Colombia, a measure for which Bush has long fought, people familiar with the discussion said.

The Bush administration, which has presided over a major intervention in the financial industry, has balked at allowing the automakers to tap into the $700 billion bailout fund, despite warnings last week that General Motors might not survive the year.

Obama and congressional Democratic leaders say the administration has all the authority it needs under the bailout law to extend assistance.

Obama went into his post-election meeting with Bush on Monday primed to urge him to support emergency aid to the auto industry, advisers to Obama said. But Democrats also indicate that neither Obama nor congressional leaders are inclined to concede the Colombia pact to Bush, and may decide to wait until Obama assumes power on Jan. 20.

Read the rest:


WASHINGTON (AP) – Aides to President Bush and President-elect Obama are revealing a bit more about yesterday’s wide-ranging discussions in the Oval Office.

Among other things, Obama pushed for the government to take urgent action to help struggling automakers. Aides say Obama also raised the idea of an administration point person on autos. They say that official’s role would be to improve the long-term health of the auto industry.

Aides to Bush say the president remains open to helping U.S. automakers.

There’s also word that the two discussed the need for more economic stimulus spending, which Obama favors. Bush has stressed that his main priority for any postelection action by Congress is approval of a long-stalled free trade agreement with Colombia.

White House press secretary Dana Perino said, however, that there’s no implied “quid pro quo.” She said the president mainly discussed the overall “merits of free trade.”

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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