The White House Weighs In On Burris Imbroglio

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On the Air Force One flight from Phoenix to Washington, White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs made his first public comment about the recent revelations concerning Sen. Roland Burris. Here is a transcript of the exchange.

QUESTION: You were asked a couple times yesterday about the President’s reaction to the revelations about Roland Burris. Have you had a chance to talk to him? Does he have a reaction?

GIBBS: I have to say I have neglected to speak with him, but I will give you this: Obviously the people of Illinois have been through a lot in the past few weeks. And obviously Sen. Burris was seated based in some way on the representations that he made to the U.S. Senate and to the committee in Illinois investigating Gov. Blagojevich and as well in interviews that the people of Illinois heard. I think in many ways he was seated based on those representations, and I think that the people of Illinois deserve to know–based on some of the things that have happened over the past few days–deserve to know the full extent of any involvement, and I think that is likely to come out as part of some of the investigations that are now ongoing.

QUESTION: He has acknowledged that the extent of his contacts with Gov. Blagojevich were substantially more than what he originally owned up to. Should he resign? There have been calls for that from both sides of the aisle in Illinois.

GIBBS: I’m not going to get ahead of investigations and say anything like that yet.

QUESTION: Is it fair to say though that you are suggesting that Mr. Burris misrepresented his involvement before?

GIBBS: I wouldn’t suggest. I think you should quote what I said.