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Get ready to watch major political drama live as President re-elect, Barack Obama, will hold his first White House news conference in eight months. The Guardian Express will carry the news conference, which begins at 1:30 pm ET or 10:30 am PT. The president is expected to speak about his re-election, the impending “fiscal cliff” and negotiations with Congress, as well as the resignation of CIA Director and former Gen., David Petraeus. In addition, questions surrounding General John Allen, commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan will be posed to the president, whether he’ll satisfactorily answer these questions is anybody’s guess.
According to the New York Daily news, the President is sticking by Gen. John Allen, his commander of troops in Afghanistan ensnared in a sex scandal involving ex-CIA boss David Petraeus.
Obama has expressed faith in Allen, his nominee for Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, and “surprise” that Petraeus’ career crashed and burned with a tawdry love affair, according to his spokesman.
“The President thinks very highly of Gen. Allen and his service to his country,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday in his first briefing since the Petraeus’ scandal broke on Friday.
Carney reiterated that Obama didn’t learn of the FBI probe of Petraeus’ affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell until the day after he won reelection.
Obama has taken reporters’ questions in a variety of other forums, most recently in late August, when he made an unannounced stop at the regular White House briefing for reporters in the midst of the heated campaign and a week before the start of the Republican National Convention.
He confronted criticism of a video produced by the main super PAC supporting his candidacy which appeared to tie Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to a woman’s death, as well as stood by his call for Romney to release his tax documents. He also addressed the controversial comments on “legitimate rape” made by Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate from Missouri.
In Obama’s first press conference following his inauguration in 2009, he took a total of 13 questions over the course of nearly an hour. Television ratings from the Nielsen Company said his February 9, 2009 remarks were watched by 49.5 million viewers. But of course that was a time the country had elected its first black president.
This is certainly not what the White House wanted for President Barack Obama’s first news conference since winning a second term.
Clearly, the traditional victory lap will be absent, especially since the president won’t be able to dwell much on his stronger-than-expected victory or even press his agenda for the next four years. Instead, he’ll be diverted by the widely reported Washington sex scandal.
The press conference is expected to address many of the questions that members of Congress’s intelligence committees are asking. A number of representative and senators alike have expressed outrage because they weren’t told about the Petraeus investigation until Friday; three days following the presidential election.
One question you can expect to hear from the media is when did Obama learn of about the Petraeus F.B.I. probe.