White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett: Trust Obama on Blackwater

Asked why the mercenary company is still getting paid millions, Jarrett told a raucous NetRoots Nation crowd, "I'm asking you to trust him."

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.

Jeremy Scahill is the author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army.
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