Last week, the Washington Post’s David Ignatius wrote about one of the odder White House briefings he’s attended. This one involved Iran: “The White House chose an unusual way to send its signals to Tehran. A small group of journalists was invited to a ‘background session’ on Iran policy with ‘senior National Security Staff.’ The briefer turned out to be Obama. An official said later that the president plans more of these unscripted, informal meetings.”
Ignatius is right. It was a bit odd, and White House senior staff, including chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, will have President Obama doing more of them. “It isn’t because we want to have him show off how smart he is,” says a White House source. “It’s to blunt criticism that he’s not engaged in foreign policy.”
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According to White House sources, a number of senior Obama officials are concerned about anecdotal stories going around town about the President’s seeming disengagement on foreign policy issues. They cite one in which the President is said to have cut short what was intended to be a briefing on Afghanistan. “The NSC guys came out of it and said that because there were no action items, he didn’t want it,” said another White House source.
Read More: By The Prowler, American Spectator