Posted by John Pegway | Posted in foreign policy, Iraq, White House, White House press corps | Posted on 29-03-2007
Dana Perino starts up right where Tony Snow left off — not ceding an inch to Helen Thomas.
From today’s White House press briefing:
MS. PERINO: Helen.
Q I have two questions on the Middle East. Has the President been in touch with King Abdullah on his critical comments that we’re wrong to be in Iraq?
MS. PERINO: Not that I’m — no. The President only spoke to President Roh this morning, of South Korea. There have been no other calls that I know of. Let me just remind you of something I said this morning, which is the United States and Saudi Arabia cooperate on a wide number of issues. It is not accurate to say that the United States is occupying Iraq. We are there under –
Q It is not right to say we’re occupying Iraq –
MS. PERINO: That’s right.
Q — with 150,000 troops there?
MS. PERINO: Helen, we are there at the invitation of the sovereign government of Iraq that was democratically elected –
Q Did we invade that country?
MS. PERINO: We were there under the U.N. Security Council resolution, and we are there now at the — I think one of the things to point out — and I think somebody brought up the Talabani comments this morning — is that he was talking about the initial when we — initially when we went in, of establishing a coalition provisional authority, rather than an Iraqi provisional authority. And we were there –
Q Did we have a right to go in?
MS. PERINO: We were there under a U.N. mandate, yes.