In his press conference that just concluded, President Bush strongly criticized Democrats in the House for not putting the FISA bill to vote before recess. "I guess you could be relaxed about this if you didn't think there was a threat to the country." Slamming his hand on the podium, he said, "I know there's a threat to the country!"
Later he said, "how can you listen to the enemy if the phone companies won't participate with you?!" He then stressed that phone companies would not consent to participate without the protection from lawsuits that FISA would allow. Bush continued, "this an important issue for the American people to understand."
President Bush said with regard to the shifting scene of power in Russia, "President Putin's a straightforward, pretty tough character when it comes to his interests. Well so am I." He went on to stress the need to establish a relationship with the candidate who becomes the new leader of Russia on Sunday.
Helen Thomas was in the front row, wearing red, though she didn't get to ask any questions.