UPDATED with video and transcript
Transcript: President Obama holds a press conference
President Obama will hold a press conference today, Friday August 9, at 3pm Eastern:
He is likely to face questions about his decision to cancel a meeting with Putin out of frustration over Russia’s decision to grant asylum to former government intelligence contractor Edward Snowden, who is wanted in the United States for leaking sensitive information.
It will be his first press conference since April.
White House livestream:
Planned for August 9, 2013 3:00 PM EDT President Obama Holds a Press Conference CONCLUDED
Some expected topics:
Statement by the Press Secretary on the President’s Travel to Russia
Following a careful review begun in July, we have reached the conclusion that there is not enough recent progress in our bilateral agenda with Russia to hold a U.S.-Russia Summit in early September. We value the achievements made with Russia in the President’s first term, including the New START Treaty, and cooperation on Afghanistan, Iran, and North Korea. However, given our lack of progress on issues such as missile defense and arms control, trade and commercial relations, global security issues, and human rights and civil society in the last twelve months, we have informed the Russian Government that we believe it would be more constructive to postpone the summit until we have more results from our shared agenda. Russia’s disappointing decision to grant Edward Snowden temporary asylum was also a factor that we considered in assessing the current state of our bilateral relationship.
Russia’s failure to respond positively to US claims of chemical weapons use in Syria and its hostile response to Obama’s plan to give military support to rebel groups means the two leaders remain deeply divided.
Russia [is] actively using forced labor to construct the venues required for the 2014 Winter Olympics to be held in Sochii, according to Human Rights Watch. The report also makes clear that while the Russian authorities receive training in handling trafficking abuses, investigation into complaints is rare.
Federal prosecutors filed espionage charges against alleged National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, officials familiar with the process said. Authorities have also begun the process of getting Snowden back to the United States to stand trial.
The charges were filed June 14 under seal in federal court in Alexandria, Va. — and only disclosed Friday.
The statement asks the Obama administration to work with other LGBT-friendly nations to “engage Russia and every nation in the repeal of all laws criminalizing homosexuality,” and the coalition wants the American ambassador to the United Nations to pursue sanctions against Russia and other such countries. Tuesday night, President Obama spoke out against the law on The Tonight Show, saying he has “no patience for countries that try to treat gays or lesbians or transgender persons in ways that intimidate them or are harmful to them.”
Editor’s Note: Feel free to leave links to other news items in the comment threads.
A reminder from the Moose Diary Preview: “Be excellent to each other… or else.”