White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett: Trust Obama on Blackwater

News & Politics

President Obama’s senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, was confronted over the weekend with the fact that the administration continues contracting with the scandal-plagued mercenary firm Blackwater (which now does business as Xe Services and US Training Center). “He has to balance national security with transparency and I bet with him. I bet with him and I’m asking you to trust him,” Jarrett told a raucous crowd Saturday at the NetRoots Nation conference in Pittsburgh.

Jarrett was directly asked why Obama keeps paying millions of dollars to Blackwater -- a question which received substantial applause and which Jarrett failed to directly answer. Instead, she appealed to a commitment of faith in Obama by activists and bloggers. “I think the point of the matter is that you also have to say we are six months in. I think you have to accept the fact that some things are going to take a little bit of time and that you have to follow a process where you’re going to get some buy-in from the people who you are counting on,” Jarrett said.

The moderator of the event, Baratunde Thurston, asked Jarrett about Blackwater’s ongoing contracts with the U.S. government after a member of the audience shouted an off-mic question about Blackwater.

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