President Holmes called a meeting of his inner circle with the same members of his first conference that was followed by Colin Smith’s assassination by sanitation truck. The press was not invited.
“I am most unhappy with the turn of events involving deliberate sabotage and mis-quotations by the media about our agenda discussions from our supposedly secure sessions.” Holmes unfolded his hands and held both palms up to avoid any interruption. “Everyone in this room is being investigated as a possible source, knowingly or not, of these past events. One member of the press has been murdered–Colin Smith–and another has had several attempts on his life–Morgan Kane. I’ve authorized complete security checks on everyone present in this room, which includes a daily sweep of listening devices in your offices, your vehicles and your homes. Any questions?”
Crag Quincy thrust his hand up first. “This could be interpreted as you behaving like former President Richard Nixon, Mr. President.”
Tara Corbet responded before Holmes. “Don’t be ridiculous. It’s a natural thing to do, given the circumstances.”
“There is no discussion about this matter.” Holmes turned to Jane Ames. “Jane, I want an immediate press release to back up Morgan Kane’s New York Times articles that my administration is categorically against polling United Nations Middle Eastern countries as who to is predominantly in favor of terrorism. Secondly, I want a declaration that the White House is investigating jihad Islam extremism throughout the United States, especially in Washington DC.”
“Mr. President, I’ll be bombarded for specific reasons and incidents that precipitated this action.” Ames reddened as all eyes focused on her.
Holmes stared at his Press Secretary. “Jane, you have one answer for anything like that–‘no comment at this time’.”
“Will that be my response also as Secretary of State Mr. President?” Tara Corbet smiled.
“Yes. This conference is ended.” Holmes stood up and exited as the two Secret Service men opened the doors for him to pass.
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