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Thursday, September 22, 2005

President plays the guitar on Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Press Briefing by Scott McClellan, 12:38PM EDT:

MR. McCLELLAN: The President wants to go in there and be able to thank all those first responders…

Q: But it sounds like a bit of a photo op, one that he'd prefer over playing the guitar at the airport photo op before Katrina.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, first of all, let's correct the record on that…That was an event to go and thank our troops and talk about the war on terrorism…

Q: He didn't pick up the guitar while the hurricane was rolling into Louisiana?

MR. McCLELLAN: The person that was entertaining our troops there presented a gift to the President…one of your colleagues at ABC News who was backstage taking a picture of that.

Q: It was a very good picture and I'm proud of her, but the question I have –

MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, but that picture was taken…by some people way out of context. And it was portrayed that the President was simply doing that…

Q: The point was that he was over there and not –

MR. McCLELLAN: As you and I know, I had announced shortly before that, that we were returning the next morning…

Q: Fair enough.

MR. McCLELLAN: I think that's unfair.

Q: So the trip to Texas to take a look at the preparations and show support for the first responders is not a photo op?

MR. McCLELLAN: This is very much something that's in flux.

Note--The first question listed here says the President was playing the guitar "before Katrina".
The photo's date shows that the President was playing a full day after Katrina struck and the New Orleans levies began their catasrophic failure.

Photo: AP
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