From NBC's Kelly O'Donnell
President Bush just wrapped up his first-ever pen-and-pad session with reporters ("pen and pad" means on the record, but no cameras). Bush said he got the idea form seeing photos of Eisenhower with reporters gathered around his desk and thought it would be worthwhile.
No breaking headlines form the president's comments, as he previewed the speech he will give today:
-- He will challenge that inaction from Congress suggests that it does not believe the country is at war.
-- On Mukasey's confirmation, the president will say the judge deserves an up or down vote; that there has been enough discussion; and that he has been asked unfair questions and treated unfairly by Congress. Bush will call Mukasey a smart and competent nominee, and he will emphasize that Mukasey has not been read-in on specific interrogation techniques and therefore should be asked to make judgments about them. He argued that techniques used are legal.
-- He will talk about the funding for the war, the war supplemental, Defense Department appropriations, and he will press Congress on FISA.