White House Briefing Questions - Major Garrett

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Senior White House Correspondent Major Garrett's questions at today's White House Briefing with Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

Garrett: Robert, you said the message on the phone calls to the Hill is to pass health care, correct?

Gibbs: Yes.

Garrett: Yes, I would. And so that -- that message is about a bill that the president has yet to endorse. Am I still correct on that?

Gibbs: The president supports the passage of the bill.

Garrett So he does endorse it?

Gibbs: Support, endorse...

Garrett: Getting back to what Jake (Tapper) was asking about earlier, there are still some unresolved issues, so I'm just curious if the president supports it in its unresolved form or its resolved form?

Gibbs: The president wants the House -- the president wants the House to pass this. The president wants the House to pass health care reform.

Garrett: On August 7th, the president said the worst...

Gibbs: I'm glad we got to... six questions to get to the fact that the president would travel from here to the House to say, "Pass the bill."

Garrett:  Well, when I asked him yesterday, he didn't say, and neither did you, so I'm just trying to nail that down.

Gibbs: I don't think it -- I hope it wasn't news that we were going up there to have them pass the bill. Apparently it was.

Garrett: On August 7th, the president said, "The worst may be behind us. Today, we're pointed in the right direction. That's why we're turning this economy around. I am convinced that we can see the light at the end of the tunnel." Was he correct on August 7th?

Gibbs: Yes.

Garrett: There's nothing about that that we want to revise?

Gibbs: The -- as I've said here and I think you'll hear economists of all political stripes say, you're not going to have economic growth -- I'm sorry. You're not going to have job growth without economic growth, right? The figures that were released recently denote that we have, for the first time in more than a year, seen positive economic growth. We see figures like unemployment claims, as I mentioned, go down, productivity go up. I think the president would believe that we're on the right path, yes. Is he satisfied? Of course not.

Garrett: But the worst is behind us?

Gibbs: I believe that's the case, yes.

Garrett:  Two publications, the Guardian and the Weekly Standard, are both reporting about IAEA possession of documents that suggest Iran has tested what they called an advanced nuclear warhead, or a two-point implosion device, and has brought this to the attention of the Iranians in the most recent conversations not only about trying to find out if they're in favor or not in favor of the low-enriched uranium transfer to Russia, but about this apparent new technology breakthrough. And also, they suggest that the intelligence committees in the House and the Senate have been briefed about this.

I'm curious. Is the White House aware of this? Is it concerned about it in any way, shape or form?

Gibbs: Let me check with NSC on that. I don't have anything on that. (The NSC staff informed Fox later it would have no comment at all on this matter)