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Should Petraeus Scandal Be A Big Topic At Obama's News Conference Today?

President Obama at the White House last week.
Nicholas Kamm
AFP/Getty Images
President Obama at the White House last week.

Eight days after his re-election, President Obama today holds his first full-scale news conference in the East Room of the White House since March.

It's safe to think that the White House had hoped the focus would be on subjects such as the fiscal cliff, taxes, the economy and the president's thoughts on what he can get accomplished in his second term.

Questions will almost surely be asked about those issues. But as NPR's Mara Liasson tells our Newscast Desk, "he'll also be questioned about the growing scandal involving his CIA director and top general in Afghanistan." (Those would be now-former CIA Director David Petraeus and Marine Corps Gen. John Allen.)

Politico starts its set-up story about the news conference this way: "This is not what the White House wanted for President Barack Obama's first news conference of his second term." It predicts Obama will be asked if he thinks the FBI should have notified the White House and Congress sooner about the Petraeus affair.

We'll live-blog the news conference, which is set to get started at 1:30 p.m. ET. It will be streamed on NPR.org and broadcast on many NPR stations. Meanwhile, we have a question.

Note: That's just a question, not a scientific survey of public opinion; it will stay open until 1:30 p.m. ET.

By the way, CBS News' Mark Knoller tweets that this will be the president's "20th full-scale WH Q&A session." Obama "has had 9 press availabilities of abbreviated lengths and he's given 232 interviews this election year, which he prefers," Knoller adds.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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