Friday, March 20, 2009

Obama's AIG Scandal: Press Secretary Gibbs Set's New Record for "Uhh's"

It's a simple question...
bailout bonuses: What did the Obama administration know and when did they know it?

White House press release of the above press conference-
Q On Geithner, is the administration sticking to -- are you sticking to this March 10th date for when he found out about this? Because I -- he was asked about it in Congress a week before -

Q It was March 9th.

Q March 9th. He was asked a week before, specifically.

MR. GIBBS: And I think the Treasury Department addressed that in the newspaper this morning. Look, I think there's -- there has been -- obviously, the Treasury has talked about taking responsibility for knowing more about the timeline.

Q When Secretary Geithner talked about that yesterday, he really parsed words. He said, on Tuesday, March 10th, I was informed about the full scale and scope of these specific bonuses. He's not saying that was the first time he learned about it --

MR. GIBBS: Well --

Q A very careful parsing of words here, suggesting he did know about it before then.

MR. GIBBS: No, I -- I think if you read carefully the report you're discussing, the Treasury Secretary takes responsibility, as the President does --

Q But he's sticking by that October 10th date -- excuse me, March 10th date --

MR. GIBBS: Right, I --

Q -- even though he clearly knew about it before then. He was asked about it in Congress --

MR. GIBBS: But, again -- but again, Chip --

Q -- and he was overseeing the AIG bailout. I mean, is it --

MR. GIBBS: What committee --

Q It just doesn't seem credible.

MR. GIBBS: That was Ways and Means?

Q Yes. But he was specifically asked the question.

MR. GIBBS: No, I understand. I understand. And I think he's addressed that and I think that's addressed in both the reports today and what he said yesterday. Chip, we're -- we understand and the President shares the outrage and the frustration that everybody has. The administration is taking steps to recoup money that's gone out, as well as to put in place a financial stability plan and to seek progress on getting our economy moving again.

Q Let me just ask you specifically. When he says, on March 10th he was informed about the full scale and scope, is he saying that's the first he learned about it at all?

MR. GIBBS: Chip, the question is predicated on the report in the paper and I think the report in the paper answers your question.

Q So he did know about it before then? 20:54

MR. GIBBS: Chip, I will -- can somebody go get a dollar and buy Chip a newspaper so that he can read the report? Again, I think it's pretty clear --

Q Been read.

MR. GIBBS: Excellent. Then I believe it's been answered.

Q Robert, can I follow on that real quick? Why did you tell us that it was March 10th, then, that you found out? The statement from the White House was very specific, he found out March 10th.

MR. GIBBS: Again, I would point you to the report that the Secretary of the Treasury takes responsibility, as does the administration, with knowledge about the structure and the scope of those bonuses.

Q But we were accidentally or however misinformed about the day that he found out.

MR. GIBBS: Well, let's -- let's not -- I'm just going to leave it at that. I think the report is pretty clear and so are the answers.


Q Did he misinform the White House about when he found out?

MR. GIBBS: Chuck.

Q Well, I do watch cable TV and apparently Congresswoman Maxine Waters had a question. I'll let you answer her question: What took place between Treasury and Senator Dodd? What do you guys now know that took place between Treasury and Senator Dodd?

MR. GIBBS: Well, again, I would point you to exactly what the Treasury Secretary said on CNN yesterday -- that the Treasury Department had concerns about lawsuits involved in the provisions. The provision that ultimately passed provides a clawback and recoupment look to bonuses through the TARP, at the discretion of an investigation by the Secretary of the Treasury.

Again, I think that the Treasury Secretary has answered this and has the confidence of the President.

Chris Dodd top money grabber from AIG and Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac received nearly $1million in campaign donations.... wrote language in stimulus bill providing for bonuses to be paid to AIG execs.. while Tim Geithner oversaw the structure of the bonuses and bailout as NY Fed Reserved guru and knew about them far in advance of today's sudden "outrage".


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