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Returning from Hawaii. (Photo/WWR)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Today in the West Wing: Tuesday, May 4

President Obama was told of an arrest in the New York car bomb case just after midnight; he has been briefed constantly on the security scare - six times yesterday alone - by his counterterrorism advisor, John Brennan.

The suspect - a 30-year old Pakistani-born U.S. citizen named Faisal Shahzada - will be accused today of driving a bomb-laden SUV into Times Square and attempting to blow it up.

Shahzada nearly got away. He was just minutes from boarding a New York-Dubai flight last night when authorities swooped in.

But Attorney General Eric Holder cautions this case is still unfolding, and that authorities "will not rest until we have brought everyone responsible to justice."

Oil Spill: Who'll Pay?

As for another crisis being juggled by the White House - that giant oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico - you’ve probably heard the government will make BP foot the entire bill for the damage – but is this really so?

BP says it’ll pay "all necessary and appropriate costs" - but what "necessary and appropriate" mean could be in the eye of the beholder. On top of that – a federal law caps – or limits -- BP’s liability to just 75 million dollars. That’s the law.

Judging by this exchange from yesterday's White House briefing, it appears press secretary Robert Gibbs isn’t sure what the deal is:

Q Can you say that the taxpayer, the American taxpayer will not face any cleanup costs?

MR. GIBBS: The commitment the President made yesterday is the responsible party will pay for this and that responsible party is BP.

Q And regardless of caps or anything, somehow, something --

MR. GIBBS: I will look into the notion of caps. I will look into that.

Some damage estimates already top 14-billion dollars. Who’s going to pay may not be clear – what IS clear: like the Exxon-Valdez disaster in Alaska two decades ago – fighting over the money will likely take years.


President's Schedule

After his usual intelligence and economic briefings, the President will address the annual meeting of the Business Council at a local hotel. He'll tell the group - some 150 CEOs - of the administration's efforts to get the economy moving; Obama will also make another pitch for Wall Street reform.

Later, the President lunch with fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel. Mr. Wiesel, a holocaust survivor and world-renowned humanitarian, toured the Buchenwald concentration camp with Obama last year.

Obama's last appointment of the day is with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

In-Town Travel Pool
Wires: AP, Reuters, Bloomberg
Wire Photos: AP, Reuters, AFP
TV Corr & Crew: FOX
Print: CQ
Radio: FOX


9:30AM Pool Call Time

9:30AM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT receive the Presidential Daily Briefing
Oval Office
Closed Press

10:00AM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT receive the Economic Daily Briefing
Oval Office
Closed Press

10:30AM THE PRESIDENT meets with senior advisors
Oval Office
Closed Press

11:05AM THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks to the Business Council

12:05PM THE PRESIDENT has lunch with Elie Wiesel
Private Dining Room
Closed Press

4:30PM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT meet with Secretary of Defense Gates
Oval Office
Closed Press

Briefing Schedule

12:45PM Briefing by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs


On This Day

1865: Abraham Lincoln is laid to rest in his hometown of Springfield, Illinois.

Presidential Quote

"You can not stop the spread of an idea by passing a law against it." - Harry Truman.

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