Carney: Obama "Constantly Asked" About Status Of Obamacare Website, Rollout


JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS: Can I just ask you, the president said yesterday, 'I was not informed directly that the web site would not be working the way it was supposed to.' I mean, we've heard the latest is the project manager on warned, was worried this thing could crash at takeoff. I'm just wondering, did the president at any point ask the question has this thing been tested? Are we ready to go? What was the answer to that.

JAY CARNEY: The president was regularly briefed on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in the run-up to the launch. What he and others have said is that we -- at no time did we anticipate that the problems that we ended up seeing on October 1st would occur. And if we had --

KARL: People working on this knew there were problems, were worried this could happen and I'm just asking did the president ask the question?

CARNEY: Absolutely. The president constantly asked where we were and what the progress on --

KARL: So who misled him? If they knew these problems and didn't disclose it to him --

CARNEY: Again, there's a jump in your logic there. The fact is, as we acknowledged and have said since October 1st and even before that, we anticipated glitches, we were told there might be some problems, and as is the case when any site --

KARL: [inaudible]

CARNEY: Jon, could I finish? I know we're creating an exchange here, but if I could just finish for one second that the fact is when a site like this is being developed and it's tested and problems arise, checklists are developed and problems are addressed. And we believed that the problems were being addressed and that while there would be some glitches upon launch on October 1st that, obviously, we never anticipated that we would have the kind of severe problems that we had, the site would function as poorly as it did. And I really ask for everyone to take a step back and look at the logic here of suggesting that somehow we or anybody responsible for it knew that we would have the problems that we had on October 1st.

KARL: But the project manager is saying that he was worried it could crash on takeoff.

CARNEY: I addressed this when Steve asked it a few minutes ago.

KARL: This isn't crashing. This is, you know, something bigger than that.

CARNEY: Again, I would advise everyone who is susceptible to taking these partial transcript leaks from the committee staff, and I think again and again when the full story is revealed, when the committee staff hasn't been really transparent with you or others, that it would be wise to look at the whole story, and that would be the case in this instance, and I think it is in this case, when committee staff is trying to make a political point. There is no question that this goes to the fundamental issue, has the website functioned effectively. Absolutely not. And nobody is more aware of that or frustrated by it than the president and the staff working for him on this issue. Thats why we're focused on fixing it and not focused on dribbling out information to score political points, we're focused on getting it right, because this about a policy delivering benefits to millions of American people.

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