From NBC's John Yang
This is the first time a U.S. President has called Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi, a man the United States once tried to topple and whom President Reagan called the "mad dog of the Middle East."
Here's a readout of the call, per Deputy White House Press Secretary Gordon Johndroe: "The President called Libyan leader Colonel Qadhafi to express his satisfaction that the claims settlement agreement was fully implemented on October 31. The two leaders discussed that this agreement should help to bring a painful chapter in the history between our two countries closer to closure."
More: "While we will always mourn the loss of life as a result of past terrorist activities, the settlement agreement is an important step in repairing the relationship between Libya and the United States. Libya has taken important steps on the road to normalizing its relations with the international community, beginning with its renunciation in 2003 of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. The United States will continue to work on the bilateral relationship with Libya, with the aim of establishing a dialogue that encompasses all subjects, including human rights, reform, and the fight against terrorism."
On a potential auto industry bailout, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino, in her on-camera daily briefing, repeated the administration's desire to see the auto industry aid come from the $25 billion in loan guarantees in the energy bill, not the TARP. She said taxpayer money should only to go companies that "show viability and a willingness to make tough decisions to restructure themselves."
While Perino said the energy bill's loan program includes a definition of "viability," the legislation does not (checking to see if the Energy Department's loan regulations do). She said it's "too early to say" whether President Bush would veto legislation expanding the TARP to include auto companies.