The Corner

White House Reax

Q Do you have a reaction to the Osama bin Laden tape?

MR. McCLELLAN: First of all, our intelligence community has said that they

believe it is authentic and that it was taped recently. The intelligence

community continues to analyze the tape. If there is actionable intelligence,

we will act on it.

Q What does that mean?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, that they continue to analyze the tape. If there is

any actionable intelligence that they determine from the tape, then they will

act on it.

We are doing everything we can to prevail in the war on terrorism and

defeat the ideology of hatred that bin Laden articulates in this tape.

Q When you refer to “actionable intelligence,” are you talking about

clues that might be imbedded on the tape; is that what you’re saying?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I said if there is any. That’s why I said our

intelligence community continues to analyze the tape. If there is any

actionable intelligence then we will act on it.

Q Threat level? Are you looking at raising the threat level before the

election?

MR. McCLELLAN: That is something that we analyze all the time. We are on

a heightened state of awareness already, and there is no change in it at this

time. But it’s something that we analyze all the time.

Q Does the President take this as an effort to influence this election?

MR. McCLELLAN: I’ll leave the political analysis to others.

Q Does he see this, though, as some — as Osama speaking directly to

him, or trying to insert him in his –

MR. McCLELLAN: You’re asking me to get into the political analysis and as

I said, I think I’ll leave that to others.

Q Well, stepping back as a matter — not just about the President, but

to try to influence the American political process –

MR. McCLELLAN: We look at it as that we will continue to act — the law

enforcement community, the intelligence community, our homeland security

officials — to make sure we are doing everything we can to disrupt and prevent

attacks from happening. Our military will remain on the offensive to prevail in

the war on terrorism, and that’s where our focus is.

Q Was the President — when was the President notified of the tape?

What was his immediate reaction?

MR. McCLELLAN: Late this morning. Dr. Rice was in touch with officials

back at the White House, including Fran Townsend, our Homeland Security Advisor.

And she informed the President shortly after that, aboard the plane.

Q Flying from where –

MR. McCLELLAN: I’ll check the schedule.

Q First flight?

MR. McCLELLAN: It was late this morning, probably shortly before noon.

Q Did the President have a reaction –

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I’m giving you the –

Q — to Dr. Rice?

MR. McCLELLAN: Oh, I’m sorry.

Q Did the President have a reaction when he heard about the tape?

MR. McCLELLAN: The reaction is what I gave you, from the White House.

Q So you guys are taking this seriously, obviously — you’re not blowing

it off, or anything? And for the political part of it, you don’t want to

comment on –

MR. McCLELLAN: I’ll leave that to others. I’ll talk about what we’re

doing. All Americans are united in our strength and resolve to defeat the

ideology of hatred that bin Laden articulates in this tape.

Q Are we going to hear him talk about this, or address this tape at all?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I’m speaking for him now, giving you the White House

reaction. Obviously, you will be there to cover him. At this point, you have

comment from me….